NHL Rumours: The Return of Alexei Yashin

Mac DCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 12:  Alexei Yashin #79 of the New York Islanders looks to make a pass play from the wing against the Buffalo Sabres during Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal game on Aril 12, 2007 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Sabres defeated the Islanders 4-1. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Alexei Yashin hasn’t played in an NHL game in four years but is still being paid by the New York Islanders at just over $2.2 million a year and will continue to receive that money for the next four years.

This was in part due to the Islanders buying out Yashin’s remaining eight years back in 2007.

Since then Yashin has played for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv for two seasons (112 games, 37 goals, 90 points) and powerhouse St. Petersburg SKA (108 games, 33 goals, 97 points) for another two seasons in Russia/KHL.

Now there is a rumour from Yashin’s agent Mark Gandler, who told the Soviet sports that Yashin will not be resigned by St. Petersburg and that there is an offer of a contract from an NHL club.

However Sports-Express’s Igor Larin has reported that Avtomoblilst Ekaterinburg of the KHL are actively pursing Yashin for his services to keep him in his native land.

Yashin last played in the NHL for the New York Islanders in 2006-2007 scoring 18 goals and 50 points in 58 games.

Over his career between the Islanders and Senators, Yashin has played in 850 games, scored 337 goals, tallied 444 assists and recorded 781 points along with 401 penalty minutes.

Attitude and price will be major obstacles in Yashin coming back to the NHL, but Gander feels he is worth millions, which he is not at the age of 37.

Yashin’s attitude has to be brought into question as well, as he was deemed a locker room cancer over his NHL career for being selfish and even sat out all of the 1999-2000 season due to a contract dispute with the Senators.

There still could be some interest if the price is right. He is a proven scorer and playmaker in the NHL, albeit older now and out of the NHL for four seasons.

But when Evgeni Nabakov’s experiment in the KHL failed he still found interest from the NHL and returned signing with the Red Wings. The same with Jaromir Jagr, who signed with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 1 after his contract in the KHL expired.

It seems the money is not always enough as more former NHL players from the KHL are coming back to the NHL showing that the National Hockey League is the most pristine professional hockey league in the world.

It will be interesting to see if the former NHL All-Star and 40 goal scorer will return back to the NHL.