NHL Rumors: Where Will Number 3 Be?
Now that Rick Nash is officially a New York Ranger and off the trade market, the eyes of the hockey world turn toward the Phoenix Coyotes and Keith Yandle. Yandle’s name has been thrown around in trade discussions since before the draft. The Coyotes have an abundance of young defensemen ready to take the next step of playing full time in the NHL. The team also needs forwards; a combination that might lead to Yandle wearing a different color sweater next season.
Boston is Yandle’s hometown and could be a great fit on their 2nd defensive line. The Bruins are in need of a puck-moving offensive defensemen and power play quarterback. Yandle provides both of those things. It was discussed in my mailbag and in various articles (CBC, Bleacher Report, etc.) that the Coyotes and Bruins may be interested in a David Krejci for Yandle swap of some sort. Krejci scored 23 goals and 39 assists for 62 points last season but had a -5 rating. I would not do this deal one for one because the point production upside added is not great enough to move a 50+ point defenseman who is an alternate captain.
The Red Wings are in need of a defenseman after this off-season left them without Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. The name that has been discussed, according to MLive, for a Yandle swap is Valterri Filppula. Filppula had a break out season last year scoring 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points and a +18 rating. Filppula could step into the role as the Coyotes number one center if a deal goes through. I believe that, unlike Krejci, Filppula has 70-75 point and 30 goal potential and could reach those levels on the Coyotes 1st line. But, those numbers are uncertain and I would rather have Yandle than a one-for-one swap for Filppula.
Remember, the Coyotes do not have to trade Yandle. Yandle is still a young valuable piece to the team that will and should only be traded for a number one centerman. I think it is more likely Yandle is a Coyote next season than anywhere else.