With the trade deadline coming up, Islander fans like every teams fans are discussing what needs their team has and who they think the team should attempt to acquire to fill those needs. One player that has popped up on and off for a little while now is Keith Yandle of the Arizona Coyotes. With the Coyotes out of it and Yandle having just one year left on his contract, it would appear that he is a prime candidate to be moved. But does he make sense for the Islanders?
Insurance for Visnovsky
While being solid for the most part in the last two seasons when on ice for the Islanders, actually being on the ice has proved to be a problem for Lubomir Visnovsky. After suffering a concussion early last season health issues have become an issue for Visnovsky. In Yandle, the Islanders get a younger player who could fill virtually the same role as Visnovsky does. With 93 points over his last season and three-quarters, he certainly has no issues on the offensive side of the puck. Additionally, at the age of 28 he is right in his prime which also makes him an attractive commodity. Those offensive numbers and his younger age would make him someone ideal to take Visnovskys spot if he is injured, or even if he is healthy to help limit his minutes.
Defensive Woes A Concern?
While his offensive skill is undeniable, Yandle doesn’t come without his flaws. Those who watch him often say that he struggles pretty good in his own zone. Those observations can be backed up if you take a look at Yandles +/- statistics. Last season, Yandle was a pretty bad -23. This year, on a poor Coyotes team, Yandle is following up that -23 with an even worse -27. While his team might be poor, you don’t get a minus rating that low on accident. To give you an idea of how poor that is, nobody that has been an Islander to this point in the season has below a -3 rating.
Does Yandle Fit With the Islanders?
The offensive skill of Yandle is undeniable, those skills alone make him a very valuable person for a team from the back-end. The ability to put points up in bunches like he does is something not that many defensemen can do. With that said, the Islanders have been a team this season that has given up more goals than they would like. While Yandle would certainly help the teams power play, his skill set doesn’t seem like it fits what the Islanders would be looking for as he wouldn’t help too much in keeping pucks out of the Islanders net. While I am sure the Islanders will inquire, I would be surprised if Yandle ends up wearing the orange and blue.