The Phoenix Coyotes managed to cobble together enough money from their "owner" to avoid losing one of their best players to free agency. The team confirmed they are signing restricted free agent All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle to a five-year deal. The contract for the 24-year-old emerging star is reported to be $26.25 million.
"Keith is an elite player and one of the game's best young defenseman," said General Manager Don Maloney in a statement. "He is an important part of our future and we are thrilled to sign him to a long-term contract."
The team was facing the prospect of having to trade Yandle and get pennies on the dollar in return, but instead pulled off a huge win for the embattled franchise with this signing. Yandle has the potential to grow into a "face of the franchise" kind of guy in the coming years.
Yandle is coming off a great season in which he played all 82 games and recorded 11 goals with 48 assists for 59 total points. For his career, he has 32 goals, 112 assists and 144 points over 283 games.