According to Keith Yandle, the decision to sign with the Florida Panthers for the next seven years went beyond the $44.45 million he’ll be paid.
“I learned how much the ownership wants to win,” the 29-year-old defenseman said this morning about his negotiations with the club.
“You feel like it’s an all-in organization.”
That’s not something that’s been said very often about the Panthers, a franchise that many saw — and some still see — as a prime relocation candidate.
But with new ownership, a new deal with the county, and a young team on the rise, things really do seem different now.
“We’re thrilled,” co-owner Doug Cifu told the Miami Herald. “[The Yandle signing] shows that top players want to win in Florida. Keith wants to win the Stanley Cup in Florida. That’s why we were his top priority and vice versa.”
Ekblad, by the way, is reportedly close to signing an eight-year extension worth in the neighborhood of $60 million. He has one year left on his entry-level deal, so an extension of that length would buy four years of unrestricted free agency.
Related: Where will Brian Campbell sign?