Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on his 31 Thoughts: The Podcast with Jeff Marek (recorded Sunday night) when asked about the latest on Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle. Friedman notes that Yandle may have come under some scrunty from some players dating back to their exit meetings, that he needs to be better all-around. He wasn’t the only one. They weren’t happy with how their season ended. Then new management comes in.
“There was a wild rumor going around that the Panthers might not even invite Yandle to camp. Which obviously didn’t happen. But well before this happened, I know I wasn’t the only reporter calling and asking. “Is something up with Yandle?”
Like even before it came public that he wasn’t part of the main group, there were rumors going around that the Panthers were going to make an example out of Yandle and say that he’s the first guy we’re going after to change the culture.
Now, obviously they didn’t uninvite him to camp. I don’t even think you can do that anyways but pretty quickly he wasn’t practicing with the main group and because he has the fourth longest consecutive game streak of all-time, it’s a story. It’s the longest active one. He can’t catch Doug Jarvis this year but he’s within 90 games of him, and so it’s a story.
Then once one reporter starts it, other reporters start chasing it, and the Panthers are adement that they’ve never asked Yandle to waive his no-move clause. To George Richards who covers them for Florida Hockey Now, Yandle did say that, that ‘I’ve never been asked to waive my no-move.’
But there’s always this feeling that maybe like you haven’t asked but if a players not gonna play, maybe they’re going to come and say, ‘Alright, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna give you a list of teams.’
And everyone assumes with Yandle that a team he would go to is Boston and I’m just not convinced that Boston is willing to do that. If you look at what the Bruins have done this offseason, they are not a team looking for long-term committments. So I don’t think that’s a match.
I have told you that I think that they talked with the Islanders. That maybe the Islanders would take Yandle and Florida takes some of their short-term cap issues in exchange and maybe keep some of money, but that didn’t go anywhere.
So, they’re kind of stuck. And I think also, and this is just me, I always wonder how does the message get taken? And I heard Yandle was really hurt. I heard he felt like his character as a person was called into question. I think that, and I don’t know who said it to him, I don’t know who the individual was responsible for this, but I heard that he felt that he was told he wasn’t a good teammate and he was upset about that, and I think it just got really ugly in the last week.
I believe Jeff at some point his teammates spoke up. So I think some of the players went to, I don’t know if it was Joel Quenneville, I don’t know if it was Bill Zito, and said ‘he should be in the lineup.’ And then all of sudden out of nowhere on Saturday he’s called into the main group to practice the power-play, and then he plays.
I’m sure some people will dispute some of these facts but from speaking with as many people as I can speak too, that is the best picture I can paint.”