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Yandle Feeling 'Comfortable' in First Camp With Rangers

by Matthew Calamia / New York Rangers

The Rangers didn't add many big pieces to its roster over the summer due in large part because its biggest addition came at the March trade deadline, when the Blueshirts acquired defenseman Keith Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes.

Yandle was thrust from a last place team in the West to the front-runner in the East with little time to adjust to the changing time zone or the way his new squad went about its business on the ice.

Now with six months under his belt as a Ranger, the new guy isn't feeling that new.

"Looking back on it now, I think it was great that I got to come here at the end of the year," Yandle told Monday morning, hours before the Rangers were to take on the Flyers at Madison Square Garden. "For last year, to be a part of the team and come into the winning ways of this organization, it was a really good situation to be put in for me."

Yandle appeared in 21 regular season games with the Rangers, posting two goals and 11 points. The blueliner appeared to be more comfortable in the playoffs, and posted the same point total over 19 games.

The experience Yandle collected over three months in New York has made his transition all the better as he enters the final week of his first training camp under Alain Vigneault.

"I think every team is different, the way your team is structured and the way coaches run a training camp" said Yandle, who spent the first nine years of his career with the Coyotes organization. "I think the way it was in Arizona compared to here, it's definitely a lot different. Coming in, knowing the system and being able to get familiar with it last year and not having to learn a brand new system and just focusing in on getting ready for a season has been good for me."

The Rangers are nine days away from the start of the 2015-16 regular season. For Yandle, it's down to the X's and O's over the final two exhibition games this week.

"I think the biggest thing for defense is getting your gaps up and moving your feet and being in the position you need to be," Yandle said of what he's working on at this point in camp. "Guys are putting in the hard work in the summer to come in in great shape. Now, you're just getting ready for game speed."

As Yandle enters his 10th season in the National Hockey League, the 29-year-old still gets some jitters and butterflies as a new season inches closer and closer.

"The week or two before training camp, you're waiting for training camp to start," Yandle said. "A week before the first game, you're wishing it was the night before the first game. The next 10 days or so goes a little slow, but it's something that knowing it's right around the corner that gets you excited for the next day of work."

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