Along with the hiring of Bob Boughner, Florida Panthers fans were hit with some other news that got a mixed reaction over the weekend. Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada reported the Cats were asking Keith Yandle to wave his NMC for the upcoming expansion draft.
Just a year removed from signing a 7 year $44.45 million dollar deal with the Cats, there may be some buyers remorse. However, the reports that surfaced didn’t turn out to be completely true, as George Richards of the Miami Herald would report otherwise.
For starters, Yandle is set to be a cap hit of $6.35 million every season until he’s 36 (2023). That ranks 15th among defensemen in the NHL, just behind Erik Karlsson ($6.5 million). Did he play up to that payday last year? Definitely not, but numerous guys also failed to do the same, so he can’t be singled out.
This could more so be a problem down the line, as Yandle won’t be getting any younger. It also won’t be any easier to stay healthy and rack up points, two things he’s known for making a career out of. Before it’s too late, Bob Boughner may be able to get the best out of the vet, after one season I wouldn’t say his contract is “Bolland bad”.
Now that doesn’t change the fact that it would be a beautiful relief off the books. However in this scenario we’re at least getting a night in and night out defenseman.
With Bolland, we got a whopping 78 games, 7 goals and 21 assists just in parts of 2 seasons. He was signed to a 5 year deal and ultimately forced the Cats to trade away Lawson Crouse, just to get rid of Bolland’s $5.5 million dollar cap hit.
I think the real distinguishing factor is that Yandle has more to offer. Not to be cliché or make excuses,but he was a struggling defenseman on a team with struggling skaters.
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At the end of the day, if there’s a possibility of a deal already in place with Vegas, we’ll just have to wait until that day comes. If they’re going to make one, it would be best to make a move sooner than later to avoid a Bolland-esque situation.
I however don’t believe another season with Keith Yandle on the roster makes or breaks this squad, he’ll have lots more to prove in 2017-18.