NHL Rumors: Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle can be had via trade

Yandle had 11 goals and 32 assists last season. (Getty Images)

With this being crunch time before the draft and all, the trade talk/rumors/speculation around the league is at a frenzied pitch. It seems right now half of the league's players have their names floating out there in some way, shape or form.

According to Sportsnet's Darren Millard, you can add Phoenix All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle to the list.

Admittedly, I don't really remember Yandle being in play before, at least not recently. There was talk about two years ago of some teams chasing him, but that's it.

However, he is far and away the highest-paid player on a team that money is an issue for. Yandle makes $5.25 million per season after re-signing with the Coyotes last summer as a restricted free agent. His contract carries him through another four seasons.

Perhaps a lot of fans around the league aren't very well aware of Yandle's ability, but he is definitely a defenseman who would be coveted by a lot of teams out there. He brings plenty of offense to go with his own-end play. He has surpassed 40 points in each of the last three seasons while not missing a game. The All-Star nominations were no accident with him.

If there is traction to this, I'd venture the Bruins were the first team to approach the Coyotes about Yandle. They were the team which seemed to be after Yandle the hottest two years ago and, as an added bonus, Yandle is a Boston-bred boy.

It would be tough for Coyotes fans to see them trading away a good, young defenseman, but when your franchise is in a state of so much uncertainty, it's bound to happen from time to time.

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