Since it takes very little buzz to constitute news in the NHL in late July, the possible return of Alexei Yashin has been on the front pages of a lot of hockey sites this week. The New York Islanders have been increasing their efforts to reunite with the 37-year old Russian center, according to , and “the talks are gaining in seriousness.”
Yashin has been playing in Russian leagues since he was bought out by the Islanders in June 2007, scoring 187 points in 220 games in the RSL and KHL.
He was picked second in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators and played there until 2001. His time there was marked by a tumultuous relationship with management, in which he demanded higher pay and even sat out a year because of a contract dispute. He still garnered nominations for a Calder Trophy in 1994 and a Hart Trophy in 1999.
He was traded to the Islanders after the 2001 year, and was immediately signed to a ten year, $87.5 million deal. The deal sank the Islanders, as his point total decreased from his days with the Senators. His contract was bought out for $17.63 million.
Although Yashin’s time in New York was difficult, the Islanders are still considering signing him to a contract to reach the cap floor. Right now, they are $10.5 million away. Yashin would most likely sign a deal in the $2 to 3 million range, but if the Islanders can get him, he might be a better addition than any free agent on the market right now. Somewhere, despite his age, he still has the scoring touch.
So what do you think Panther fans? Should the Isles bring back one of their biggest flops to meet the cap floor? Do they have any other options? Leave a comment if you have any clue.