Flyers D Keith Yandle's NHL-Record Consecutive Games Played Streak to End at 989

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 2, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 13:  Keith Yandle #3 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates the puck against the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center on March 13, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Keith Yandle won't suit up for the Philadelphia Flyers for Saturday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, meaning his all-time record of consecutive games played will stand at 989.

"He received it exactly like you'd expect Keith Yandle to handle it," Flyers coach Mike Yeo told reporters of the decision to sit the veteran defenseman. "He is nothing but a phenomenal pro. He handled it extremely well. Obviously disappointed, which you would expect from a competitor and hockey player that's been doing it for as long as he has."

The 35-year-old's streak dates back to March 2009. He finally surpassed Doug Jarvis in January to become the NHL's foremost ironman.

For some, though, Yandle's benching will be long overdue.

The Flyers are seventh in the Metropolitan division and have already been eliminated from playoff contention. This is a good time to begin laying the groundwork for next year and beyond.

Yandle has also been a poor performer by a number of categories. He has one goal and 14 assists through 67 appearances, and his plus-minus (minus-39) is the worst in the league.

One downside of having a player enjoying an ironman streak is that a coach could feel a level of pressure—even implicitly—to extend the streak to the wider detriment of the team.

Charlie O'Connor @charlieo_conn

Here's the thing w/Yandle: sitting him at any time since Nov has been justifiable purely by quality of play. By all objective metrics, he's been poor. Doing it now, however, given where PHI stands, raises "why" question & moreso, "why not sooner, when it would have mattered?"

Scott Wheeler @scottcwheeler

Hot take: Keith Yandle is one of the worst defencemen in the NHL and if not for the ironman streak, would have been scratched a long time ago.<br><br>The Flyers have young D they need to get reps to down the stretch. Their development shouldn’t be sacrificed just to prolong his streak.

Continuing to lean on Yandle—he's averaging 14:20 of ice time—didn't single-handedly ruin Philadelphia's postseason hopes, but it certainly didn't help.