Panthers’ Yandle May Lose Ironman Streak on Opening Night

NHL 2020-21

No, it isn’t his three All-Star appearances or his career-high of 62 points in 2019. There is one stat that Yandle has dominated over his career that is in jeopardy.

During the 2009 season with the Phoenix Coyotes, Yandle played a full 82-game season with the Yotes, totaling a career-high in games played and points. That season really helped put Yandle on the map for top defenders in the NHL.

Since March of 2009, Yandle has not missed a single game in the NHL. Yes, the long-time veteran has played every game, whether it’s a full 82-game season or a shortened season due to COVID or lockouts.

The Ironman streak is one of the most impressive streaks in the NHL. Being able to lace up the skates every night without missing a single game due to injury, being scratched or even a maintenance day is amazing.

Yandle’s streak of 866 games has him fourth all-time for the NHL record book, eyeing in on Steve Larmer’s 884-game Ironman streak.

With that being said, Yandle’s consecutive game-streak may come to an end on Sunday night when the Florida Panthers open their season against the Chicago Blackhawks.

According to reports, Yandle has fallen out of favor with the Panthers and may be placed on the taxi squad. What makes things interesting is that Yandle has a full no-move clause and cannot be put on waivers without his permission.

The plan may be to make Yandle a healthy scratch for the Panthers’ season opener. Earlier this week, it was reported that Yandle was not skating with the game group for practice, which led to this speculation.

However, early Saturday morning it was reported that Yandle skated with tomorrow’s game group and looked good on the Power Play. Head Coach Joel Quenneville said he is not ruling out Yandle for Sunday, which is a change of tune from nearly 24-hours ago.

Yandle has been a player to watch in Florida ever since being traded from New York to the Panthers in 2016. It seems as if Yandle’s time in the organization is done, however, as he was stripped of Alternate Captaincy after holding the “A” for the past three seasons.

With his current contract of $6.35M, Yandle won’t be easy to move either. It’s basically roster or bust for Yandle and his current Ironman streak.

We’ve seen recent developments that favors Yandle starting tonight, although anything can happen before puck drop. It was originally said that Yandle will be in the press box for opening night in favor of youthful defencemen, but Quenneville seems to have changed his tune.

With or without Yandle, the Panthers open their season Sunday against the 0-2 Chicago Blackhawks.

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