NHL Trade Speculation: 4 Teams That Should Pursue Phoenix Coyotes' Keith Yandle

Mitchell Klemp@@MeestaMitchContributor IIAugust 27, 2012

NHL Trade Speculation: 4 Teams That Should Pursue Phoenix Coyotes' Keith Yandle

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    Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle is a two-way star who can score from the blue line. That alone makes the 25-year-old a desirable asset for nearly every franchise in the NHL.

    For the past three seasons, Yandle has posted double-digit goals and over 41 points. He has also produced for the Phoenix Coyotes in the playoffs.

    His current contract has four years remaining, so any team that is willing to pull the trigger on a trade gets a potential franchise player for multiple seasons.

    Here are four teams that should pursue a trade with the Coyotes for Yandle's services.

Minnesota Wild

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    The Minnesota Wild went all out this offseason during free agency. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, considered the top two free agents, both received 13-year contracts.

    Adding the top two free agents to a team that finished 14 points out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference doesn’t automatically change the Wild’s postseason fortunes. Minnesota still needs a little bit more help.

    Trading for Yandle would give the Wild one of the top defensive pairings in the NHL. Suter worked extremely well with Shea Weber in Nashville and could do the same with Yandle.

    The Wild may not have enough pieces to trade for Yandle, but their draft picks, which could possibly be early first-round selections, could help sweeten any potential deal.

Dallas Stars

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    The Dallas Stars are pretty thin in their defensive corps, so adding Yandle makes a lot of sense. Their biggest obstacle is that the Phoenix Coyotes are Pacific Division rivals.

    Dallas has some pieces it can move, but the asking price might be higher than it wants to pay. With Brenden Morrow’s name attached to multiple trade rumors, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in a potential package.

    If the Stars have to send a defenseman back to Phoenix in a trade, look for one of the more senior veterans to be part of the package as well.

New Jersey Devils

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    The New Jersey Devils defensemen tallied a total of seven goals last year. Marek Zidlicky is the highest-scoring blueliner and he had 22 points last year and 24 points in 2011 while with the Minnesota Wild.

    With Parise joining the Wild in free agency, adding offense will help fill the void he left behind.

    Yandle also brings durability and dependability to the position. Only Bryce Salvador and Anton Volchenkov played more than 70 games for the Devils last year, and they had a combined 20 points.

    Getting a young and durable player like Yandle will only improve their chances of returning to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Philadelphia Flyers proved in the playoffs that their defense needed some focus in the offseason.

    Luke Schenn was brought in from the Toronto Maple Leafs for James van Riemsdyk, but the Flyers lost out on Shea Weber when the Nashville Predators matched the offer sheet.

    If Philly is still in the market for a defenseman, Yandle is a great fit.

    Ilya Bryzgalov shoulders much of the responsibility for Philadelphia’s playoff collapse, but one of the best ways to mask a weak goaltender is by having a stout defense.

    Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger are both 37, and Pronger was only able to suit up for 13 games during the regular season.

    While Yandle may not be Weber, he still is a young, top-flight defenseman that the Flyers would love to lock up for four more years.


    Contact Mitch Klemp at MitchKlemp@yahoo.com and follow him on twitter @MeestaMitch