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Flyers bench Keith Yandle to end record ironman streak at 989 games

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Keith Yandle’s NHL-record 989-game ironman streak came to an end on Saturday as the 35-year-old was a healthy scratch versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yandle was able to surpass Doug Jarvis’ 964-game mark earlier this season, but will fall just shy of 1000 consecutive games played. Yeo explained to media that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but he feels that they need to give some of their younger players a look in a season where playoffs are out of the picture. He said that the veteran blueliner handled the news like a professional.

It was quite the record-setting run for Keith Yandle. (Getty)
It was quite the record-setting run for Keith Yandle. (Getty)

“He received it exactly the way you would expect Keith Yandle to handle it,” Yeo said. “I know you guys have dealt with him, he is nothing but a phenomenal pro. He handled it extremely well. Obviously disappointed, which you would expect from a competitor and a hockey player that has been doing that for as long as he has.”

Despite Yandle seeming to be understanding of the situation, opinions on the Flyers choosing to scratch him has mixed reactions from former players, media, and fans. Some are suggesting that the season is a lost cause for the team anyway, and don’t understand what it hurts to let him reach the 1,000-game mark, while others believe he should have been healthy scratched some time ago, but wasn’t simply due to this streak.

It is worth noting that last season the Florida Panthers were set to scratch Yandle in their first game of the 2020-21 campaign, but changed their minds after facing heavy backlash.

One very interesting tidbit from this whole situation is that despite only breaking the NHL’s iron man record earlier this season, Yandle may not hold the title for very long. Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel just recently passed Jarvis himself and, having suited up for 968 consecutive games, sits just 21 shy of Yandle. While there isn’t enough games remaining this season for him to set a new record, there is a good chance he is able to do so early in the 2022-23 campaign.

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