As if they coordinated it, a third defenseman has announced his retirement this morning. Keith Yandle will follow Zdeno Chara and P.K. Subban into retirement, telling listeners of the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast that he is “literally taking his talents to South Beach and doing nothing.”
Yandle, 36, broke the all-time iron man streak this season, playing 989 consecutive games. In total, he hit the ice for 1,109 regular season games and racked up 619 points. It started in Phoenix, where a mid-round pick quickly turned from a lottery ticket to full-time regular, debuting in the 2006-07 season. After nearly 600 games with the Coyotes organization, he was traded to the New York Rangers, where Yandle would experience the most playoff success of his career.
In 2015, the Rangers would get within a game of the Stanley Cup Final, the closest the veteran defenseman would come to lifting the championship trophy. In total, despite playing parts of 16 years in the league, Yandle was only fortunate enough to suit up for 58 playoff games.
At his peak, Yandle was one of the most cerebral, effective offensive defensemen in the NHL, racking up points on the powerplay. In fact, of his 516 career assists, 254 of them came with the man-advantage, where he was deadly for a full decade.
Unfortunately for Yandle, though he currently holds the longest streak of consecutive games, he will likely lose it this year to Phil Kessel, who signed with the Vegas Golden Knights and is just seven games behind him. No matter what, he’ll always be known for his durability – which even included an 84-game season in 2014-15 thanks to a midseason trade.
The veteran market will certainly look different without Chara, Subban, and Yandle in it.