'It's not for a couple of weeks, right?' Yandle may have decision at trade deadline


VOORHEES, N.J. — Keith Yandle has played in 975 consecutive games, the most ever in the history of the NHL.

He truly takes one day at a time. He says it and means it.

And he'll continue to do the same with the March 21 trade deadline not far off in the distance.

The 35-year-old veteran defenseman is in a unique spot on an aggressively retooling team fully focused on next season. Yandle is on a one-year, $900,000 contract, which has a full no-movement clause.

He was asked Wednesday if he'd be open to waiving the clause to be traded to a team in the playoff race.

"To be honest ... it's not for a couple of weeks, right, the deadline?" Yandle said after practice. "It's not really something I've really focused on too much. I've told you guys before, I kind of take every day day by day. I honestly haven't really thought about it."

In his first season with the Flyers, Yandle has recorded a goal, 13 assists and a minus-32 rating while playing 14:48 minutes per game on the club's third defensive pair. He came out of the chute with five assists in the Flyers' first three games. But after a 6-2-2 start, the club, beset by a rash of injuries, has gone 10-25-8 and into selling mode.

Hockey people and contending teams value good locker room guys with experience. Yandle possesses those qualities. He's respected and beloved by teammates and is regarded for being ultra positive, so perhaps some clubs looking to add a depth blueliner — possibly a sixth, seventh or an eighth — may be interested.


"Playing in this league, it's a blessing to be a part of it as long as I have," Yandle said of his constant positivity. "You just kind of enjoy every day as much as you can, that's just kind of how I've always been. Whether it was growing up or now playing in the NHL, I've always just tried to enjoy it.

"I've said it a million times before, it's the best league in the world with the best people. ... Obviously there's times when you're frustrated and things aren't going the team's way, but just trying to be the right, positive role model for guys."

More: As he reaches record, Yandle shows he's an ironman with a 'love for the game'

A team trading for Yandle could be putting his ironman streak in jeopardy. The Flyers have 29 games left. With 25 more games played in a row, Yandle's run would reach 1,000 straight, a remarkable feat. The club likely wouldn't mind that being accomplished in a Flyers jersey.

"He's a guy that brings a lot of joy to the rink, that's for sure," Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said Wednesday. "He's been around for so long. I don't know that I've ever met a teammate that's more appreciated by his fellow teammates. He's a guy that loves to play the game.

"What he's done with this record is pretty impressive. We can talk about having to stay in the lineup and battle through injuries and all that kind of stuff; the only way that happens is if you truly love the game. He never misses an opportunity, so that's pretty impressive."

If both parties agreed to a trade, the Flyers could receive a lower-round draft pick while furthering their evaluation for next season.

For now, Yandle will focus on the day at hand. Despite the team's 16-27-10 record, he has enjoyed being a part of the Flyers. Staying positive and building for next season are things in which he'll take pride.

"We've done a good job of sticking together as a group," Yandle said. "If you're in our locker room, we have a really tight group. We enjoy being with each other, guys aren't cheating it during the game. I've been on some teams where guys are out there, it's selfish hockey, you're trying to play for yourself. I really feel that we're a group that is playing for the crest on the front of our jersey.

"Obviously there's been a lot of turnover, young guys coming in this year, but everybody pulls the rope. From that aspect, it's been great this year and I think that's going to help the team in the future."

More: Ristolainen decision, Konecny's play, more in 3 trade-related Flyers thoughts


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