For the past year or so, it seems as if NHL trade rumors have been swirling around Arizona Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle. Today, the rumor mill continued to swirl as Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that the New York Islanders may be in on the Coyotes blueliner. To me, these rumors are very surprising because of the fact that Islanders General Manager Garth Snow made trades for both Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk in early October to help solidify the Isles blue line. But these rumors also show that maybe Garth Snow is not fully satisfied at the way his defense has looked through the first 14 games of the season, although it has been much improved over the past few games.
Keith Yandle is in his ninth NHL season, all of which have been spent with the Coyotes. He’s often regarded as one of the best two way defensemen in the league. This season, Yandle has registered one goal and 11 points in 14 games and currently sits at a +1. Last season, Yandle had his second best season as a pro, compiling 53 points from the Yotes blueline. The two time all star is in the third year of a five year, 26 million dollar contract he signed back in 2011.
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A trade for Keith Yandle would make sense for the Islanders for a few reasons and the first being flat out he’s simply an excellent defenseman. We all know that top flight NHL defenseman are not available very often and certianly don’t grow on trees, so to pass up on an opportunity like this would be sinful. Yandle could also serve as a security blanket just in case Garth Snow fails to resign Johnny Boychuk at the end of the season, which could very well happen. A trade for Yandle would most likely include a good prospect or two, as well as a veteran forward like Josh Bailey(as Garrioch mentions). So that means this trade would also help the Islanders free up some room in their clogged up foward corps. Now may be the best time to trade Bailey because he began the season red hot, posting four points in his first seven games before getting injured. It seems as if he may be nearing his return.
Do I think the Islanders could use their assets better, possibly in a trade for a top line winger? Yes! Of course I do, but when an opportunity to trade for a top defenseman arises, beggars can’t be choosers. Obviously for now all of this is just rumors and speculation, so we will see if anything materializes in the coming days. Stay tuned right here for any potential developments in this story.
The Islanders look to extend their winning streak when they take on the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday Night. Thoughts on these rumors? Comment below!