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Panthers trade sixth-round pick to Rangers for rights of Keith Yandle

Keith Yandle was a risk the Florida Panthers decided to take.

Panthers trade sixth-round pick to Rangers for rights of Keith Yandle

The Panthers sent a sixth-round pick in NHL draft to the New York Rangers for the rights to the veteran defenseman, whose contract is scheduled to expire on July 1.

Florida was working on a contract Monday night with Yandle, who earned as much as USD 5.25 million this past season and was 15th among defensemen with 47 points.

Yandle has had three 50-point seasons in his career and the Panthershave had two defensemen reach that total in a season.

"We wouldn't have made the trade if we weren't confident that we could come to a conclusion and get him into our system," Panthers general manager Tom Rowe said Monday night.

The Rangers are also going to receive a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft if Yandle signs with the Panthers, who won the Atlantic Division title this past season.

"I think it's a sign to the fan base that we're real serious about winning the Stanley Cup," Rowe said. "We want to build off the momentum that started with last year and continue growing. And we want the players to also know that we're real serious about winning and we want to be a consistent playoff team."

Yandle was acquired by New York in March 2015 from Arizona along with another defenseman, Chris Summers, and a fourth-round selection. The Rangers gave up top prospect Anthony Duclair and a conditional first-round draft pick.

Yandle had 58 points (seven goals, 51 assists) in 103 games with New York over parts of two seasons. Yandle remained at the Coyotes for nine season before the trade to the Rangers.