Given the way in which the chips eventually fell in the bout with absurdity that was the Jaromir Jagr sweepstakes, we must approach the burgeoning summer comedy festival that is Alexei Yashin’s potential return to the NHL with some level of regard. While it seems like a long shot, or a ploy of some sort – which Dmitry Chesnokov examines in more depth at Puck Daddy, the need for a handful of teams to bring themselves up to the salary cap floor adds a little plausibility to the prospect of an NHL return for Yashin.
Yashin’s agent Mark Gandler claims that his client has received an offer from an unnamed NHL team which, if what Gandler says is true, is being speculated as the New York Islanders. The Islanders would make sense as an interested party for a couple of reasons. Although he has been in exile from the NHL since being bought out from his contract by the Islanders in 2007, Yashin remains close with owner Charles Wang and GM Garth Snow. Then there’s the Islanders’ cap situation, Snow still needs to make up about $10 million to bring his team up to the cap’s 48.3 million floor. The going rate for a former NHLer turned KHL standout is a cool $3.3 million courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Nashville Predators are another team whose name has been bandied about on message boards and Twitter on Monday as another potential fit for the 37-year old Russian. Nashville seems like a bit of a stretch, but they’re still roughly $8 million from the floor. A new deal for Shea Weber and another addition or two ought to take care of cap requirements in Music City, it’d be too Holmgren-esque for David Poile to gamble on an aging KHL migrant.
Of course, Yashin’s camp could simply be campaigning for a new KHL deal and hoping to use the NHL as leverage in negotiations. That said, similar theories were at play when Jagr Watch launched in advance of July 1. Any NHL return for Alexei Yashin will be wrought with jokes and probably a smidgeon of intrigue, I mean we’re looking at the possibility of a team paying him twice just to meet league regulations.
The summer is a good time for a sideshow, and we hear Alexei Yashin’s music.