The Florida Panthers bought out veteran Keith Yandle’s contract and re-signed fellow defenseman Gustav Forsling and forward Anthony Duclair to three-year deals on Thursday.
Yandle turns 35 in September and had two seasons remaining on a seven-year, $44.45 million deal he signed in June 2016. That contract also had a no-movement clause.
“We would like to extend a sincere thank you to Keith for all that he’s contributed to the Florida Panthers organization and to the South Florida community over the past five seasons,” general manager Bill Zito said in a news release. “While a decision of this kind is never an easy one to make, we believe that this shift is necessary as we look towards the 2021-22 season and our club’s future.”
Yandle owns the NHL’s longest active ironman streak, having played in 922 consecutive regular season games since March 2009. He is 42 games shy of the NHL record of 964 set by Doug Jarvis from 1975-87.
He carried a salary cap hit of $6.35 million for the next two seasons with Florida. Per multiple reports, the buyout will save the Panthers $4 million against the cap in 2021-22 and just under $1 million in 2022-23. It will add a charge of $1.24 million in 2023-24 and 2024-25.
Yandle tallied three goals and 24 assists in 56 games during the 2021-22 regular season.
The three-time All-Star has 600 points (102 goals, 498 assists) and 602 penalty minutes in 1,032 career games with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes (2006-15), New York Rangers (2015-16) and Panthers.
Forsling, 25, was a restricted free agent. TSN reported the contract was for $7.98 million, or $2.66 million per season.
Forsling contributed 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 43 games in his first season with the Panthers in 2020-21.
“After joining the Panthers in January, Gustav had a career season setting personal records and establishing his defensive game to bolster our blueline,” Zito said. “We are looking forward to watching him continue to develop his game with our club.”
A fifth-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 2014, Forsling has 44 points (13 goals, 31 assists) in 165 games with the Chicago Blackhawks (2016-19) and Panthers.
Duclair, 25, was also a restricted free agent and his deal is worth $9 million, per TSN.
Duclair scored 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 43 games in his first season with Florida. He led the team’s forwards with a career-high plus-27 rating.
“Anthony brought great speed and skill to our club this season,” Zito said. “We look forward to seeing him continue to be a creative playmaker for us on the ice and a valuable member of our community. We are thrilled to have him as a part of the Panthers family for years to come.”
A 2020 NHL All-Star, Duclair has 194 points (89 goals, 105 assists) in 396 games with the Rangers (2014-15), Coyotes (2015-18), Blackhawks (2018), Columbus Blue Jackets (2018-19), Ottawa Senators (2019-20) and Panthers. The Rangers drafted him in the third round in 2013.
–Field Level Media