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Yandle, Panthers Agree to Contract Extension

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The Panthers Have Signed Keith Yandle to an Extension

The Florida Panthers have signed Keith Yandle to a contract extension. The Panthers acquired the negotiating rights to him last week from the New York Rangers. According to Pierre LeBrun, the contract is reportedly worth $6.35 million per season over the next 7 seasons.

Yandle was acquired by the Rangers at the trade deadline during the 2014-15 season from the Arizona Coyotes for prospects and draft picks. He helped them reach the Stanley Cup during that season, scoring 11 points in 19 playoff games. In his first full season with the Rangers, Yandle had 42 assists and was one of their top players. He didn’t contribute much during the playoffs, putting up just 1 point in the teams first round loss.

The Panthers traded their 2016 6th round pick and a conditional 4th round pick in 2017 to acquire the rights to Yandle. Since Yandle did not reach free agency, the Panthers will not have to send the 4th round pick to the Rangers.

By signing Yandle, the Panthers add a veteran to their young defensive core. With Willie Mithcell unlikely to return and Brian Campbell hitting free agency, Yandle steps into a top role on the Panthers blueline. The Panthers are led by young defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Dmitry Kulikov, but also feature Alex Petrovic, Jakub Kindl, and Steven Kampfer, as well as top prospects Mike Matheson and Ian McCoshen waiting in the wings. The Panthers are reportedly listening to offers on Kulikov if they can add a forward.

The Coyotes signed Alex Goligoski to a contract extension worth just under $5.5 million yesterday, which may have played a factor into Yandle’s contract with the Panthers. Both defenseman were expected to be the top available. The two extensions will likely set the market for defenseman on July 1st, with former Stars defenseman Jason Demers, Kris Russell, and former Panthers defenseman Campbell being the top names available.