How Keith Yandle went from trade piece to vital Rangers cog

Multiple sources report keen interest in the 29-year-old, much of it coming from the Western Conference. Dallas has been dogging the Rangers for weeks. The Blueshirts perhaps would be able to get the Stars’ immensely talented 20-year-old winger Valeri Nichushkin as part of the return package. Such a possibility would surely tempt Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton.

But league sources also say the Blueshirts are no longer signaling Yandle’s availability. No kidding. The Rangers, 7-1-1 in their past nine and 13-5-2, instead appear to be preparing to bulk up for another run at the Stanley Cup that has eluded them since 1994. Subtracting Yandle from the equation would not seem to be in the team’s immediate best interests.

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