Keith Yandle signed a 7 year deal with Florida at 6.35M per AAV with a NMC for the first 6 years of the contract. Due to no State Income Tax in Florida, this would be a deal upwards to 7.5 in NY. It also means this deal will take Yandle to the age of 37 at a heavy cap hit with a difficult handcuff to move him. Sound familiar?
The Rangers basically did the same thing for Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. Both defensemen were at or reaching the age of 30 like Yandle, and the Rangers wanted to lock them up before they hit the UFA market. Now, both contracts hang like an albatross around their necks.
There is no doubt in my mind that Yandle will be productive for maybe the first year, maybe 2 of this deal, but trends show that defensemen usually experience a decline after 30. In the chart below, you can see several defensemen known for being offensively productive and their decline after their 30th birthday.
Bottom line is this, Jeff Gorton knew that Yandle wanted over 6M and term. If he was also aware of a NMC then he really made the right move here. Yes, Yandle is lost but at least Gorton had the sense to move him to place where Yandle’s brother works as a scout and obtained two draft picks in the process.
When Yandle was moved, everyone was up in arms. Now that we see what Yandle got from Florida, I applaud this move. I do not praise Gorton for not moving him at this trade deadline for more but I also don’t fault him for acquiring him in the first place.
That’s on Glen Sather, as are the contracts of Girardi and Staal. This proves Jeff Gorton can learn from those mistakes and maybe give fans of the organization some hope for future deals.