3. Keith Yandle’s Contract
Keith Yandle has a marmite-like relationship with a lot of Ranger fans, you either love him or you hate him. However, I think most fans dislike the situation in which the Rangers acquired Yandle, rather than actually disliking him as a player. The Rangers had to give up their biggest prospect in Anthony Duclair. Anybody that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Yandle and how he moves the puck. Yes, he may not be the best defensive defenseman in the game, but the way he can turn a game on it’s head and pick out a pass is phenomenal.
The best thing about Yandle’s situation with the Rangers is obviously his contract. The Rangers have Yandle for another year, and they are only paying half of his $5.25 million contract, which is approximately $2.625 million.
Yandle only spent three months with the Rangers, and managed to gather up 11 points in 21 games, with a +/- of 6. They may not be the most impressive stats ever, but when you take into account that he needed time to settle in and adjust to a whole new style of play, they don’t seem as bad.
In the Playoffs, Yandle actually managed to pile up 11 points in 19 games and finish with a +/- of 7. That’s the same amount of points, in less games, and in a lot less time. And Yandle really started to come alive in the Playoffs, especially in the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay lightning, in which he got two goals and five assists, which add up to 7 of his 11 total playoff points. Now with all of this in mind, this says to me that if Yandle can do that in such a short space of time. Who only knows what he can bring to the team if he has a full year to do so?
There have been many rumors circulating recently about Yandle possibly being traded away from the Rangers, and if you ask me, that would be a really bad thing to do.
Lets look at it this way, the Rangers have an elite offensive defenseman who was brought in to score points, not be a top-pair shutdown man. He was fourth on the team in points in the playoffs and was probably one of, if not the best, defenseman in the Tampa Bay series despite having a separated shoulder injury. He can move the puck well, as well as pick out a pass, and the Rangers are only paying half of his salary.