Florida Panthers buying out defenseman Keith Yandle

Cats will bite the bullet on remaining two years of contract

According to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, the Florida Panthers are parting ways with sonk master extraordinaire and iron man Keith Yandle via the buyout process.

As per the fine folks at CapFriendly, Florida’s cap hit for buying out the remaining two years of Yandle’s contract will look like this spread out over the next four seasons.

Cap hit cost:

2021-22: $2,341,667

2022-23: $5,391,667

2023-24: $1.241,667

2024-25: $1.241,667

While buyouts are seldom a good thing, the Cats will get close to an extra $4 million to work with this summer and  roughly $944K of additional space compared to Yandle’s original cap hit next season. They will have to work around $1,241,667 in dead cap space in years three and four. That’s pretty manageable, as Roberto Luongo’s recapture penalty and the remaining buyout money owed to Scott Darling will be off the books.

Another plus is they no longer have to use a protection spot on Yandle in the upcoming expansion draft, meaning the can protect Gustav Forsling in the 7-3-1 or Forsling and Radko Gudas is they decide to employ the 8-1.

Yandle becomes an unrestricted free agent who can be signed by any of the league’s other teams on July 28.

On June 20, 2016, the Panther acquired Yandle’s rights from the New York Rangers for a conditional 2017 fourth-round draft pick and a 2016 sixth-round draft pick. Three days later, they signed him to a seven-year, $44 million contract.

Yandle played a total of 371 regular season games with the Cats, producing 30 goals and 231 points. While he was pretty productive from an offensive standpoint during his five-year stint with the club, his penchant for defensive blunders made him a polarizing figure on Florida’s back end.

Are you happy the Panthers are buying out Yandle?