Detroit Red Wings: Keith Yandle would add left-handed shot to blueline

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

As the Detroit Red Wings continue to work through their offseason, it’s time to start giving a look at the free-agent class. With the news of a recent buyout from the Florida Panthers, there’s someone the Red Wings should be looking at.

The Detroit Red Wings need a left-handed shooting defenseman to work into the mix in the upcoming 2021-22 season. The Panthers recently bought out defenseman Keith Yandle from his seven-year, $44.45 million contract that was slated to run through 2022-23. (See the Panthers CapFriendly page for Yandle’s buyout schedule)

Conveniently enough, Yandle is a left-handed shot. If the Red Wings wanted to go out and add a left-handed shot which they know can bring some offense, Yandle should be considered. Back in his heyday, Yandle had no issue potting ten goals and creeping near the 50-point range.

Things changed; he aged and is no longer the offensive threat he once was. There’s still something to be said about Yandle’s abilities. While he was slated to take home $6.35 million through the end of his contract, he is not worth that anymore.

The Detroit Red Wings should be looking at signing Keith Yandle.

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All told, he really was not bad last year or any of the years he has spent in Florida. He may not be in the 10-goal range anymore, but there is no reason not to be interested with this Red Wings team needing defenseman help.

Filip Hronek is great, a real asset to the team’s defense core, but they could still use an influx of scoring.

The team needs to have someone to pair with Moritz Seider when he makes his debut in the NHL, and Yandle is a great fit.

There are options for the Red Wings; Yandle is certainly not the only one, the team could opt to sign a player or trade for one, but there is a need for a left-handed shot. Yandle fits the build and might be quite the addition to the team’s backend.

Yandle is now going to be 35 years old by the time the puck drops on the 2021-22 season, but that should not stop the Red Wings from picking up the phone.

Who’s to say the Red Wings couldn’t grab Yandle on a quick two-year deal, hoping to make him a bridge defender with some of the younger guys poking through.

I’m thinking of a two-year deal for Yandle where he takes home $3.5-4 million per year. The valuation may be off here, but he’s going to take home $7,733,334 in the next two years from his buyout. With those figures, he would still make more than he was slated to on his long-term $6.35 million AAV deal that he had signed with Florida.

Frankly, shelling out $7-8 million over two seasons on a guy like Yandle is not bad. Even if that number rose up to $5 million, I would be willing to pay it over two years if I was in Yzerman’s seat. However, I’m not; I’m merely making suggestions from the outside looking in.

But even in 2020-21, Yandle logged 56 games where he collected three goals and 24 assists for 27 points. Oh, and he logged enough games to cross over the 1,000 game threshold on his 15-year NHL career.

There’s a lot of miles on those skates, and the contract might very well come back to bite the team in the second year of the deal proposed above, but it could be a beneficial contract for the Red Wings organization.

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Plus, for any Spittin’ Chiclets podcast fans… a little bit of SOONNKKK in Red Wings fans’ lives is never a bad thing.