The Philadelphia Flyers have already turned over their roster a couple times this summer, but they’re just not quite done yet.
According to multiple reports, the Flyers are going to sign defenseman Keith Yandle to a one-year deal coming in at a cap hit of $900,000 once free agency opens up on Wednesday.
Yandle to PHI -- 1 year, $900K, NTC. Forgot he has played for Vigneault, so knows the coach.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
While they can’t officially put pen to paper quite yet, there are further details of the contract that include him having a no-trade clause. Details on that clause are uncertain — could be a certain amount of teams on a list or just a full no-trade — but that will be cleared up by Wednesday.
As Friedman mentioned above, this is a reunion between Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault and Yandle, as the two spent just over one full season together for the New York Rangers. But during that time, Yandle saw his deployment slip compared to other spots through his long career.
Maybe this is all for nothing, since Yandle projects to be a bottom-pairing defenseman in Philadelphia anyways. Most likely starting his season next to fellow veteran Justin Braun, this signing has effects trickling down the depth chart — meaning that youngsters like Cam York and Egor Zamula will not be gifted a spot on the blue line and will have to really impress the coaching staff to leap over the hurdle of an established blueliner like Yandle.
In terms of finances, Yandle’s cap hit is essentially a straight swap for those two, as both come just slightly under $900,000. Not affecting the cap and getting a really strong presence on the blue line? Honestly not a bad option for some depth.
For the Florida Panthers last season, Yandle scored 3 goals and 27 points in 56 games, while averaging just 17:15 TOI, the lowest minutes he has seen since his 2008-09 season. There’s signs of a diminishing role, but the Flyers can use anyone as they overhaul the blue line.
This is now the third addition GM Chuck Fletcher has made for his group of defenseman — previously acquiring Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen via trades. We’ll see if this all pans out, but it’s honestly not looking too shabby.