NHL Rumors: Will the Phoenix Coyotes be Forced to Trade Keith Yandle?

Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has been on the trade block dating back to last year, but general manager Don Maloney insisted Yandle is a part of the team’s core and not going anywhere.

However, I wonder if the team’s struggles continue if Maloney reconsiders his stance and trades the puck-moving defenseman who counts for $5.25 million against the salary cap for the cash-strapped franchise for a few talented offensive prospects.

The Coyotes have a stable of young defensemen prospects including the talented Oliver Ekman-Larsson who at 21 years of age is quickly establishing himself as one of the elite young defensemen in the entire league. Could the continued stellar play of the Swede convince Maloney that moving Yandle is the best course to take for the team that currently sits at the bottom of the Western Conference with two points?

On the surface trading Yandle who is one of the finer offensive defensemen in the league and those are rare finds in the league, and when you find one, you rarely let them go, doesn’t make sense. However, if a team comes to Maloney with a trade for cheap, young offensive talent that he can control for a number of years, doesn’t he have to at least consider it?

I don’t think Maloney is in any rush to move Yandle and the season is still early, despite it being contracted, there is plenty of time for the Coyotes to right the ship and get out of the basement in the Western Conference. But as the season rolls on the offers for Yandle are only going to increase and make it difficult for Maloney as he decides to either stand pat or rebuild.

If Yandle is on the market there will be no shortage of suitors and Maloney could get quite the haul for the 26-year-old Boston native.

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Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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