According to his agent Marc Gandler via Dmitry Chesnokov, former Islanders captain Alexei Yashin has an offer from one unnamed NHL team. When asked if it was the Islanders, Gandler had no comment and said he would talk to Yashin later in the week.
CH: I honestly never thought that we would discuss Alexei Yashin on this blog, but here we are. Yashin is now 37 years old (will be 38 in November) and has been out of the NHL since 2007, when the Islanders bought him out for a multitude of reasons. Yashin has put together decent enough seasons in the KHL in Russia since then. He has maintained a relationship with the Islanders and Charles Wang, despite having essentially been fired from the team.
There's two things to look at here. First, I don't see the Islanders bringing him back, thought I can't imagine any other team having interest. If you recall, Gandler said the Islanders had interest last year and if Yashin ever wanted to come back to the NHL the Isles would have the first shot. (Um, duh?) Anyway, Yashin does not fit into the team right now, even as a support player - which is exactly what his role would be. The Islanders are better off bringing in a player like Vinny Prospal, who would provide similar production but would not carry the extra baggage that a player like Yashin.
But let's face facts here. If Alexei Yashin is brought back, it will not be a Garth Snow move. It will be a Charles Wang executive decision - or a Charles Wang special, if you will. Wang still adores Yashin and there is little doubt that he would love to get Yashin back here playing. But the Islanders already are paying Yashin 2.2 million dollars this year (and the next 4) to sit at home. So if they sign him, and it won't be a minimum salary contract, you will have to add that on top of what they are already paying him. They paid Yashin 4.7 million in buyout money last year. A 2.5 million dollar contract, which is probably around what Yashin is looking for, would equal the same amount of money they paid him last year to sit home. Sounds like a great investment, right?
Obviously, Yashin is not the right guy. There is no reason to mix the failed past of the early 2000s (though a lot of that is due to not recognizing the need to capitalize on 2001-02 and not Yashin himself) to the new, fresh, young players the Islanders are building around today. There is already enough of that connection with Rick DiPietro and Trent Hunter, two players past their primes who are still languishing on this team. It's time to move on, and for good. And I imagine, barring any Wang involvement, that Garth Snow has.
AT: Look, there's no doubt we need an improvement on the top 6. PA Parenteau put up a respectable 53 points last year, but if we're looking to succeed in the playoffs, he is not the person who is going to help us on the first line. However, if this is the route Wang/Snow are looking to take, god help us. Yes, Yashin would be an improvement upon PAP, but what would it say about this management's tendencies? They're going to bring back a player who had a petition against him attempting to get him bought out? He's a nice guy. One of the nicest players I've ever met. But bringing him back does not show this organization is dedicated to winning. It's showing that we will once again go for the scraps when nobody else is available or willing to sign with us.
Yes, the guy put up respectable numbers in the KHL, I just don't believe he's right for this team right now. Or ever again. There's a reason he was bought out, and it wasn't just because of his contract.