Phoenix Coyotes Must Embrace Keith Yandle’s Continued Leadership

Keith Yandle

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

There are always going to be teams that need to depend on their defensemen to bring the offense. The Phoenix Coyotes have a player who can do that in Keith Yandle. He led the team with 30 points this year from his defense position, and with a long-term deal in progress with the Coyotes, the time may be here to see if anything more can be produced by Yandle.

He scored 10 goals and had 20 assists this season and finished the season with a major flourish. Yandle had six points in the team’s final three games, including a three-assist game. There is obviously a lot to like about Phoenix since they were over the .500 mark this season. I don’t discount any team moving forward that had a record like that. I’m not positive that Yandle will ever be a player that records 70 or 75 points in a season, but he has scored 59 in an 82-game season before.

I think that that is a realistic goal, and it is something that he should be shooting for next year. He hasn’t missed a game since the 2008-09 year and is one of the most dependable players on the team, as well in the whole NHL. Yandle is also just 26 years old, and I would expect that he stays in Phoenix for the next 10 years if the team wants to pay him. The potential is there for the Coyotes to be a dangerous playoff team again if their goaltending is better this coming year, but I know that the team can depend on Yandle day in, day out.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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