Last week the Florida Panthers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs after a hard fought series against the defending Stanley Cup Champion the Tampa Bay Lightning. One of the guys not on the ice for the Panthers during their game 6 loss was notable defenseman Keith Yandle.
There were talks at the beginning of the year that Yandle was going to be scratched to start the season. That wasn’t the case as he ended up playing in all 56 games. It’s pretty clear though that the 34 year old isn’t in the Panthers plans for the future and him being scratched in the playoffs has all but sealed his fate. We more than likely have seen the last of Yandle in a Florida Panthers uniform.
The 34 year old still has two years left on his contract and has a full no movement clause until the 2022 season where it turns into a modified no movement clause. So yes, could he still be back with the Panthers absolutely as he has to be the one to waive his no movement clause in order for them to trade him. At this point though why wouldn’t he waive his NMC? Florida is a young an upcoming team who can compete but I think its pretty clear they don’t value Yandle all that much.
So what team could Yandle waive his NMC for? Well, I think the Flyers would be the perfect fit for him. One of the Flyers biggest needs is for a consistent veteran defenseman since Matt Niskanen retired. Yandle is 34 and has an iron man streak of 922 games. He would be the perfect defense partner for Ivan Provorov and could be a major addition to the Flyers blue line.
Yes, I am aware of his cap hit and that is something that could easily be worked around. He might not be all that costly to get either for the Flyers and I think they would be dumb not to consider him an option. Obviously, this would require either Florida asking him to waive his NMC or for Yandle to request a trade.
Another reason I think this could be a realistic possibility is the Kevin Hayes factor. Yandle and Hayes are great friends and spend a lot of time together during the offseason. I can just picture it now…Kevin Hayes pitching the city of Philadelphia and the Flyers to Yandle on the golf course as they throwback some beers and Pink Whitney.
I for one am all in on the idea of Keith Yandle in the orange and black. Hey Chuck, pick up the phone and make some calls see what we can do here.