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Flyers reportedly will sign ironman Keith Yandle, bolstering the defense and reuniting the veteran with Alain Vigneault

The Flyers are expected to sign the veteran defenseman on Wednesday, the first day of free agency.

The Flyers' Travis Konecny skates between Panthers' Denis Malgin and Keith Yandle during the overtime at the Wells Fargo on Oct. 16, 2018. Flyers will reportedly sign Yandle on Wednesday.
The Flyers' Travis Konecny skates between Panthers' Denis Malgin and Keith Yandle during the overtime at the Wells Fargo on Oct. 16, 2018. Flyers will reportedly sign Yandle on Wednesday.Read moreSteven M. Falk

In addition to a backup goalie, the Flyers will be scouring the free-agent market for a depth defenseman — such as Keith Yandle — and a forward who can help their penalty kill.

The free-agent period opens at noon Wednesday.

Yandle, a left-handed shooter who turns 35 on Sept. 9, will likely sign a one-year deal with the Flyers, according to Kevin Weekes, an analyst with the NHL Network and ESPN.

During his time with the New York Rangers, Yandle played for Alain Vigneault, now the Flyers’ coach.

The Florida Panthers recently bought out Yandle’s contract, which had two years left with a $6.35 million annual cap hit.

He reportedly will sign with the Flyers for $900,000.

Yandle, a Boston native, has played in 922 straight games — the longest active streak in the NHL, and just 42 short of Doug Jarvis’ NHL record — and is coming off a season in which he had 27 points (3 goals, 24 assists) in 56 games. He could quarterback one of the power-play units.

He was a healthy scratch in half of Florida’s playoff games this year.

The signing could mean Flyers prospect Cam York, 20, spends more time with the Phantoms this season. York will be given a chance to make the Flyers during training camp, but it seems more likely he will now get top-pairing minutes at Lehigh Valley, where the former University of Michigan standout played eight games and had five points, including two goals, last season.

Giving York some more pro experience and possibly recalling him during the season may be the way the Flyers go.

If Yandle is signed, he could be paired with Justin Braun, 34, another veteran, on the No. 3 unit.

Yandle is a three-time All-Star who played in parts of two seasons with Vigneault in New York. In their only full season together, in 2015-16, Yandle had 47 points -- 22 on the power play -- and a plus-4 rating while averaging 19 minutes, 58 seconds of ice time per game.

Last season, he averaged 17:15 a game with Florida, his lowest total since 2008-09, when he played for the Coyotes.

The Flyers still must sign some restricted free agents, including goalie Carter Hart and defenseman Travis Sanheim. When that gets done, they are expected to have close to $4 million in cap room if they sign Yandle — and most of that will probably go to a goaltender to complement Hart.

Vancouver’s Braden Holtby could be the goalie the Flyers sign. The 6-2, 214-pound Holtby, who won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018, was put on unconditional waivers Tuesday with the intention of buying out his contract.

Holtby, who will turn 32 on Sept. 16, has one year remaining at a $4.3 million cap hit. He had a disappointing season (3.67 GAA .888 save percentage) and was not much better in 2019-20 with the Capitals (3.11, .897). But he has strong career numbers and is close with Hart. They have shared the same sports psychologist.

San Jose goalie Martin Jones, 31, also is being bought out. Like Holtby, he had a dismal year but has had his share of quality seasons.

There are many other free-agent goalies the Flyers could pursue, including Jonathan Bernier, who appears headed to New Jersey, Frederik Andersen, and Linus Ullmark. Provided he doesn’t re-sign with Buffalo, Ullmark could be too expensive and may want to go someplace where he is the starter.

Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper, who is on the trade market, would be a great complement to Hart, but he has a steep cap hit ($4.5 million) for the final year of his contract.

As for a free-agent forward who could help the penalty kill, perhaps the Flyers turn to another free agent who used to play for Vigneault, Derek Stepan? They were together with the Rangers, and Stepan had his best seasons when Vigneault was his coach.

Playing for Ottawa, Stepan, now 31, had shoulder surgery late last season, but is expected to be at 100% for training camp, according to the Senators.