The gaping hole along the Detroit Red Wings’ typically solid blue line could be filled capably by Phoenix Coyotes star defenceman Keith Yandle. And, according to report from the Detroit News on Tuesday, the Wings have inquired about a possible trade.
Off-season turnover has seen the Wings swap Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks and lose future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement. Half of their top-four blueliners gone.
Despite offers, the Original Six club’s defensive void has not yet been patched this off-season through free agency or trade. The Wings reportedly attempted to land Ryan Suter, Justin Schultz, Matt Carle and Sami Salo, all of whom signed elsewhere.
Last week it was reported by Michigan Live that the Wings were speaking with the Calgary Flames about obtaining defenceman Jay Bouwmeester in exchange for Valtteri Filppula, Jonathan Ericsson and a prospect.
With the Philadelphia Flyers’ defensive core racked with injuries, they might also be looking to make a bid for Bouwmeester, the report suggests.
A pursuit of the 25-year-old Yandle, a key component in the Coyotes’ journey to the 2012 Western Conference final, will come at a high cost.
Yandle, selected to the last two All-Star Games, hasn’t missed a game for Phoenix in three full seasons. Last year he scored 11 goals, added 32 assists and took 51 minutes in penalties.
The defenceman is signed to the Coyotes through 2015-16 with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million.