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Keith Yandle, NHL ironman, retires

Feb 12, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle (3) looks on during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Keith Yandle, whose streak of 989 consecutive games played is an NHL record, said Tuesday he is retiring after 16 seasons.

“The last year it’s one of those things I’ve been thinking about,” Yandle, 36, said on the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast. “When that’s all you know in your life, to call it quits on it, to call it an end, it’s nerve wracking. You’re worried about what you’re going to do. Especially this time of the year, you’re ramping up for training camp.

“The last couple weeks I’ve been at ease with it. Really enjoyed spending time with the family. …. I think for me I’m really at ease with it and looking forward to the next chapter.”

A fourth-round draft pick by the then-Phoenix Coyotes in 2005, Yandle played with the franchise from 2006-15, then with the New York Rangers (2015-16), Florida Panthers (2016-21) and Philadelphia Flyers (2021-22).

It was with the Flyers that he set the NHL ironman streak on Jan. 25 against the New York Islanders. He broke the record of 964 set by Doug Jarvis.

Yandle played 25 more games until the streak ended April 2 when the Flyers made him a healthy scratch, preferring to take a look at younger players.

In 77 games with the Flyers last season, he tallied 19 points (one goal, 18 assists).

“My only hope is that he just recognizes how amazing it is what he’s done,” then-Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo said that day. “For sure, for him it’s disappointing no question. But not many can say they’ve done something that nobody in the history of the NHL has ever done. And so in no way does this diminish what he’s accomplished. It is remarkable and certainly something to be extremely proud of.”

In 1,109 career games, Yandle scored 619 points (103 goals, 516 assists) with 16 game-winning goals.

Yandle’s ironman record likely won’t last long. Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel has played in 982 consecutive games.

–Field Level Media

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