Ex-Islander captain Yashin agrees to deal with Locomotiv Yaroslavl

Updated: July 20, 2007, 4:07 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Former New York Islanders captain Alexei Yashin will play next season with Locomotiv Yaroslavl of the Russian Super League after failing to get a NHL contract offer to his liking.

Alexei Yashin

Yashin

Yashin, who had the final four seasons of his 10-year contract bought out by the Islanders in June, agreed to terms Friday on a one-year deal with the Russian team he played with during the 2004-05 NHL lockout.

Financial terms weren't immediately available. The contract doesn't provide Yashin with an out-clause to return to the NHL next season, his agent Todd Diamond told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

"He's committed to them," Diamond said. "They were very aggressive the entire time. They told us they wanted him and they told us they wanted to win a championship there as they have in the past and they felt that Alexei was the guy."

Yashin didn't immediately return a phone message.

Diamond said three or four NHL teams made what he called solid offers to sign Yashin, but added there was disappointment in the deals presented to his client.

"We never got close," Diamond said.

Yashin had 18 goals and 32 assists in 58 games last season, his second as Islanders captain. He never regained his early-season scoring touch after spraining his right knee in November. The 33-year-old center missed 24 games overall because of the injury.

Yashin then dealt with demotions to the fourth line and several benchings by coach Ted Nolan at the end of the regular season and playoffs. In Game 2 of New York's first-round series against Buffalo, Yashin sat for most of the final two periods and finished with a team-low 7:07 of ice time.

He was scoreless in the five-game series loss.

Now he can try to regain the form in his native Russia that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 1992 NHL draft by Ottawa and helped him earn the 10-year, $87.5 million deal from the Islanders in 2001 following his trade from the Senators.

Yashin will join former Islanders teammate Randy Robitaille on Yaroslavl. Paul Gardner, a former Nashville Predators assistant, is the coach.

In 850 regular-season games with Ottawa and the Islanders, Yashin had 337 goals and 444 assists.

The Islanders will pay two-thirds of the $26.45 million left on Yashin's contract ($17.63 million) over the next eight years for a salary-cap hit of about $2.2 million per season.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press