The New York Rangers have acquired defenceman Keith Yandle along with Chris Summers and a fourth round pick for 2016 from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenceman John Moore, prospect Anthony Duclair, a second round pick, and a condition first round pick.
New York general manager Glen Sather is gearing his team up for a deep run in the post-season and adding a presence like Yandle can go a long way to that end. The defenceman has tremendous offensive upside and should be with the Rangers for a while. He’s under contract through the 2016-2017 season and carries a cap hit of $5.3 million through the 2015-2016 season.
Yandle has 41 points in 63 games this season and has reached the 50-point mark twice in his career. The 28-year-old will be used a lot on the Rangers’ power play and has 26 points with the extra attacker, the most out of any blueliner this season.
This is a good deal for the Rangers.
As for the Coyotes, this is the sort of deal that comes with the territory. General manager Don Maloney insists that his club is in a reset phase, which suggests the reasons behind shipping out his top two scorers over the last two days.
In the process, Arizona has collected some quality draft picks and prospects. In the Yandle deal, the offensive upside lands with Duclair. Obviously the top of the upcoming draft looks strong and the Coyotes are hoping to make some hay out of it, plus they have some intriguing stars in the system already.
“It fast-tracks us back to respectability,” Maloney said. “The one benefit of having such a miserable season is that there’s a pretty big reward being a bad team this season, at the top of the draft. We know that.”
Apparently the seeds for the Yandle deal came about when Sather and Maloney talked last week in New York. Sather called and aggressively pushed for the defenceman, dangling Duclair – a linemate for Max Domi, who is in Arizona’s system – as bait. The deal went down but the Coyotes will have to eat some of Yandle’s salary for this year and the next, which might not be an easy sell for Arizona fans.
But when you’re in a “reset,” you take what you can get and hope to use the pieces to push forward. Arizona’s in a good position and the Rangers got who they wanted. That’s a good hockey trade.
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