Apr 21, 2014, 5:33 PM EST
In Keith Yandle, the Phoenix Coyotes have one of the best power-play quarterbacks in the league and a blueliner that can make things happen offensively, but it comes at a price.
The 27-year-old defenseman hasn’t been nearly as effective without the puck, which is part of the reason why he ranked dead last in Phoenix with a minus-23 rating.
“There’s always that risk-reward factor in it,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “With Yands, his power-play play this year went to another level, went to a level we hadn’t seen before. He took a responsibility for improving our power play and a leadership role and did a very good job.
“That being said, his defensive play is still — it’s inconsistent.”
Yandle acknowledged that he has room for improvement defensively, but he also feels he’s already gotten significantly better. Meanwhile, trade rumors will continue to swirl around him as the Coyotes look to make changes after missing the playoffs for two straight seasons.
He has two campaigns left on his contract at an annual cap hit of of $5.25 million.
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 5
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 3
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 34
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 15
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 15
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 4
- NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Canadiens seek edge as divisional battles intensify 2
- Struggling Kings complete the comeback against Blackhawks 11
- Video: Tempers boil over between Capitals, Penguins 46