Last season, the Rangers swung big at the deadline to get Keith Yandle out of Arizona.
But will he end up playing in New York beyond this year?
There have been no talks thus far between Rangers’ general manager Jeff Gorton and Yandle. Neither does there appear to be urgency on either side. There is no indication the Blueshirts will move Yandle if he does not sign an extension.
“We haven’t had any discussions with the Rangers,” Yandle’s agent, Jerry Buckley, told The Post on Tuesday. “There is no timetable as far as we are concerned.
“I know Keith likes it in New York and likes the team, but his entire focus is on having a good year and winning. I don’t anticipate there being a deadline for Keith to sign during the season.”
Yandle, 29, is in the last of a five-year, $26.25 million deal that pays $5.25M annually. One of the league’s best offensive defensemen — he finished first among blueliners with 46 assists last year, and has nine points through 15 games this year — Yandle should be in line for a pretty significant payday, regardless of where it comes from.
If the Rangers want to retain his services, they’ll have to cough up some cash. That means Gorton will have to weigh Yandle’s value to the club against all the other contracts needed (Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller are all RFAs this summer).
If Yandle wants the biggest payday, he could test free agent waters.
Aside from being a premier point producer, he’d hit the open market at a time where quality d-men are far and few between. Right now, Yandle would be near the top of a UFA class possibly highlighted by Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Dan Hamhuis, Alex Goligoski and Braydon Coburn.
Finally, one has to wonder how the optics in New York would be should the 10-year veteran depart. It’s fair to suggest it’d be a tough look for the Rangers, who gave up plenty to acquire Yandle — Anthony Duclair and a conditional first-round pick, most notably.