When last season ended, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle told his teammates he had played his last game, said fellow blue liner Nick Seeler at the time.
He announced it officially Tuesday while doing the Spitting Chicklets’ podcast.
The always-classy Yandle, 36, said he was “literally taking my talents to South Beach and doing nothing.”
Sounds like a relaxing plan.
Yandle played 16 seasons in the NHL, including his final one with the Flyers. He played for Phoenix (now Arizona), the New York Rangers, Florida, and Philly, collecting 103 goals and 619 points in 1,109 games.
Don’t remember Yandle for his poor final season with the Flyers, when he had one goal, 19 points, and a league-worst minus-47 rating in 77 games.
Instead, remember him for his amazing Iron Man streak — 989 consecutive games before it ended April 2 as the Flyers made him a healthy scratch. His streak started March 26, 2009, and he played through lots of injuries to keep the streak going.
Phil Kessel, now with Vegas, has an ongoing streak of 982 straight games.
A three-time All-Star, Yandle said he was “at peace” with his decision to retire.
He had denied a request to speak to the media after his final game with the Flyers, probably because it was an emotional time for him.
According to Puckpedia, Yandle made $78.5 million during his career.
Though he struggled last season, Yandle added professionalism to the locker room and was adored by his teammates.
“Right til the end, he did everything he could for his teammates,” Mike Yeo, then the Philadelphia Flyers interim coach, said after the final game of the season. “We had him read the starting lineup tonight (in the locker room), and the guys were fired up and came out with a good start. I don’t know that I’ve been around another player that is loved by his teammates the way that Keith is. And obviously, there’s the streak, which was amazing to be a part of that. We’re all very grateful to have been a part of that.”