Why The Arizona Coyotes Should Not Trade Keith Yandle


With the March 2 NHL trade deadline fast approaching, the Arizona Coyotes will undoubtedly be sellers. There have been a handful of names thrown around in trade rumors, but one in particular would be a mistake if traded, Keith Yandle.

Every season around this time, his name is linked to trade rumors. This year is no different.

Yandle is signed for the rest of this year and next season. He still has a year and a half left on his five year $26.5 million contract, but if the Coyotes ever want to be a serious contender, they are going to have to spend some money eventually and Yandle is absolutely worth it.

If he were to be traded, it should not be until next season when his contract is near its end and if he’s decided to test free agency. Basically, trade him if the team knows there is no way he would return after his current deal. If he’s open to an extension, the Coyotes should pursue that option.

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Aside from the contract issues, he’s just a solid player that continues to get better. He does have bit of a reputation for turning the puck over, but that has been down as of late.

He is one of the few highly offensive defensemen in the NHL. That is extremely valuable to a team like Arizona that relies on everyone to score goals. He is especially crucial to the team on the power-play. As of today, Arizona’s power-play percentage of 22.4% ranks sixth in the NHL.

Yandle leads all NHL defensemen with 23 assists on the man advantage. That of course, doesn’t happen without Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ekman-Larsson and Yandle are the perfect complement to each other on the blue line, especially on the power-play.

Ekman-Larsson has a good shot and Yandle can pass really well. It’s a thing of beauty to watch the two work together on the power-play. Those two have brought something to Arizona that is an on ice rarity in the desert, a decent power-play.

Head Coach Dave Tippett echoed these sentiments in an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM,

"“When you pre-scout every team, teams look at our team and they say, ‘Well, let’s not let Yandle and Ekman-Larsson have an influence on the game on the power play.” Tippett continued by saying, “I don’t know if there’s two better guys in the league at running a power play on that offensive blue line.”"

Another thing that can’t be overlooked is his leadership. He’s been an alternate captain since the 2010-11 season. He’s a leader on the ice and in the locker room. His entire NHL career has been spent in Arizona. So, he knows the organization, the fans, the market and the coaching system. When Shane Doan retires, Yandle would be a good fit to wear the “C” on his sweater should he remain in Arizona.

General Manager Don Maloney and the rest of the Coyotes front office has made it no secret that the team will be rebuilding and utilizing their young talent from their minor league system. Those young players are going to need help from the team’s veteran players to get acclimated to the NHL.

Yandle’s grown in the NHL under Dave Tippett’s system and knows it well. It’s clear that Tippett isn’t going anywhere soon. So, having a veteran leader like Yandle, who has been successful under Tippett’s coaching style would be extremely beneficial to the NHL development of those young players as they enter Tippett’s system.

He’s no stranger to trade rumors, every year they pop up and every year he remains in Arizona. Only time will tell what the future holds for Keith Yandle.