Panthers sign Keith Yandle to 7-year contract worth reported $44.45M

Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Florida Panthers have signed defenseman Keith Yandle to a seven-year contract.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed by the club, but it's believed to be worth $44.45 million, carrying an average annual valuation of $6.35 million, according to Craig Custance of ESPN.

That would make him the Panthers' highest-paid player.

"We are thrilled to have signed Keith to a multi-year contract," said general manager Tim Rowe. "He is a highly skilled and experienced defenseman who will be a tremendous asset on our blue line and in our dressing room. We look forward to Keith’s contributions to our team both on the ice and in the South Florida community."

The Panthers acquired his rights from the New York Rangers for a pair of draft picks, one of them conditional on Yandle signing with Florida. Upon signing him, the Panthers sent their fourth-round pick in 2017 to New York.

The negotiating period gave Yandle time to explore what he's getting into, and he clearly liked what he saw.

He added that he's especially excited to play with Jaromir Jagr and Aaron Ekblad.

Yandle, who will turn 30 in July, has averaged 0.56 points per game over the course of his career, with an additional 31 points in 51 playoff games.

This past season, he recorded five goals and 42 assists for the Rangers, while continuing a career trend of being a positive possession defenseman.

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Panthers sign Keith Yandle to 7-year contract worth reported $44.45M
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