Keith Yandle Inks Massive Contract With Florida

Just a couple days after acquiring his negotiating rights via trade, the Florida Panthers are reported to have put puck-moving defenseman Keith Yandle on a seven-year pact with the club.

The massive deal carries a $6.35 million AAV over the next seven years and includes a no move clause for the first six seasons, and a limited no trade clause in the final year, according to multiple sources. That no move clause will guarantee that he’s staying in Florida through the 2017 expansion draft.

Yandle’s price tag comes in part in a weak market for defensemen. Following the signing of Alex Goligoski in Arizona this week, Yandle was one of the biggest names on the market and the price tag shows it.

The 29-year-old put up five goals and 47 points through 82 games for the New York Rangers last season, a decrease in offensive production that is partially due to a shift in usage in his first full year with the Blueshirts. He posted a 4.44% adjusted CF%Rel, and has a 2.2% CF%Rel over the last three seasons combined.

It’s a big signing for Florida, even if the term could become burdensome. The team’s blue line is undergoing an offseason facelift along with the team’s front office. Willie Mitchell is expected to retire, Brian Campbell is likely to hit free agency, and Erik Gudbranson was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. Add in the rise of Michael Matheson and the signing of Ian McCoshen, and there’s a lot of change happening for the club.

The signing will also have an impact for the Rangers. The deal for Yandle’s rights included a 6th round pick and a conditional 4th round pick that was conditional on Yandle signing. Now that he’s put pen to paper, the Rangers receive a 2016 6th round pick (174th overall) and Florida’s 2017 4th round pick.