Yashin signs with Russian club
Alexei Yashin is going back to Russia.
The free-agent centre agreed to terms Friday on a one-year contract with Locomotiv Yaroslavl of the Russian league, leaving the NHL after 12 seasons.
Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the Canadian Press reports that the deal does not include an out clause that would allow the native of Sverdlovsk, Russia to return to the NHL next season.
"Alexei has a history with Yaroslavl, having played several games for them during the lockout," Yashin's agent,told CP on Friday."He feels comfortable with them, having a North American coach [Paul Gardner] and a former teammate, Randy Robitaille, being there as well next season."
Todd Diamond said other NHL teams made offers, but that Yaroslavl was relentless in its bid.
"They came after him very strongly," said Diamond. "He's going to go there and have a great year … We'll see where we are 10 months from now."
Yashin, 33, became an unrestricted free agent last month, when the New York Islanders bought out the remaining four years of the 10-year, $87.5-million contract he signed in 2001 after being acquired from Ottawa in exchange for defenceman Zdeno Chara, a first-round pick the Senators used to draft top-line centre Jason Spezza, and winger Bill Muckalt.
Though his enormous salary was reduced by 24 per cent by the NHL's 2005 collective bargaining agreement, the Islanders had little interest in paying top dollar for a player who had 50 points (18 goals, 32 assists) in 58 games last season, and missed 24 contests with a sprained knee.
After a promising start to the season,the Islanderscaptain fell out of favour with first-year coach Ted Nolan, and had no points in the team's five-game first-round playoff loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Drafted second overall by Ottawa in the 1992 draft, Yashin has 781 points (337 goals, 444 assists) in 850 career regular-season games in the NHL. His best season came in 1998-99, when he had 44 goals and 50 assists for the Senators.
Yashin played 10 games for Yaroslavl during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, recording three goals and three assists.
With files from the Canadian Press