Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Coming Soon To An Arena Near You?

As you've probably read, the Islanders have announced that they will buy-out the remainder of center Alexei Yashin's contract. Naturally, our thoughts turn to whether or not we'd like to see Yashin here in D.C., so let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of such a move:

  • He's a legitimate first-line center and more talented than anyone currently on the roster at that position.
  • He will cost significantly less than other top centers on the market.
  • He has some chemsitry already with Alex Ovechkin (recall the Turin Olympics).
  • He wouldn't have the huge contract or the burden of the captaincy to live up to.
  • A change of scenery likely would do him good.


  • He's Alexei Yashin.
I'm going to go against the conventional wisdom on this one and say that, if the price and term were right, it wouldn't be the worst move this team has ever made to sign Yashin. Then again, the possibility of signing Yashin, drafting Alexei Cherepanov, banking on Simeon Varlamov, changing the team's primary color to red... it all has a certain flavor to it, doesn't it? Hope you like borscht!

UPDATE (6/6, 7:16 pm): OK, I've made up (changed?) my mind and am now firmly in the "no at any cost" camp after reading this:
The rumblings around the National Hockey League was that [Ryan] Smyth would listen to the Islanders proposals, but he had no intention in re-signing there because of his disdain for Yashin and his lethargic ways.
If the guy's such a disease that free agents won't even consider signing where he's playing, I certainly wouldn't want him on my team. Let someone else roll the dice - someone who can afford to swing and miss (to mix metaphors).


TG said...

Would 2 years of Yashin at $2-3M be better or worse than 4/5 years of Zubrus at $4 million? Or 3 years of Nylander at $4-5 milllion? Or 6 years of Drury, Gomez or Briere at $6-7 million?

If (IF IF IF IF IF) he's willing to sign for 2 years at $2 million (even $3 million), I say take the chance. He's not the face of the franchise. Doesn't have to carry the team. Who knows, maybe he'll be motivated. (Of course, I'm sure every team that signed Daigle said the same thing...)

Tyler said...

I think that GMs who are under do-it-this-year-or-see-ya pressure are oft willing to do things that are slightly risky.

Two years, $6M seems about right to me. But the No. 2 center they sign HAS to be a defense-aware guy, because you can't have two top lines where neither the C nor the LW play much D.

JP said...

The #2 center is Bax (my new shorthand, btw), no?

I mean, Yashin would be in lieu of a Drury/Briere/Gomez/Nylander and the money saved could go towards a blueliner or a right wing.

Tyler said...

Bax? I don't get it.


1) Yashin was well liked (off the ice) He's not a jerk, but was in a situation on the Island where he was vastly over paid and could NOT deliver such expectations.
2) As many have said, at a vastly reduced salary(3 years-9 million) and not having to wear the C, he can legitamitely put up 50-70 points, and possibly more centering Semin or AO.
3) As we mentioned on our blog early this morning, he and AO had a nice thing at the Olympics last year. Its not like Alexie was a slug and a bad guy, just was over paid.
4) Therefore signing him for a deal 3 years or less would be a good deal and as JP mentioned leaves additonal cash to add another missing piece

JP said...

Bax = Backstrom (though it's pronounced "Beckstrom").

Caps Nut said...

Uh, no.....

Adding Yashin and ice girls would seriously make me reconsider my support for the current ownership/management.

Tyler said...

Ah, gotcha on Bax. Are we assuming then that they only sign one C this offseason? That they'll go into camp with FA-Backstrom-Gordon-Suts and that's it? Because I wasn't assuming that.

(Faux flip-flops faster than Mitt Romney.)

JP said...

Don't forget Messrs. Laich and Novotny (not to mention Steckel making a push and guys like Klepis and Bourque perhaps not too far away).

You can't really skate Bax below the 2nd line, and they've got boatloads of 3rd/4th line centers, so that really only leaves one spot (barring trade), doesn't it?

Tyler said...

I was counting Laich as a winger. But I forgot about Novotny. Maybe if there were more of me sitting here, one of us would have remembered him.

Klepis? I think he's goners.

Anonymous said...

One word - No

Tyler said...

It occurs to me that some of the answer to the Yashin question is: What is GMGM's budget next year? Because if he doesn't have $6-8M to throw at Gomez/etc. then Yashin is The Option.

JP said...

What is GMGM's budget next year?

Well that's the real question now, isn't it? I don't think anyone outside of the inner circle knows for sure. If the rumors of the cap going up to $52m are accurate, then the Caps will likely be spending adding around $10-$12m this summer (FS says $8m-$15m).

JP said...

Time to take your temperature, fellas - I posted a poll re: Yashin, so go vote.

Rage said...

"I was counting Laich as a winger. But I forgot about Novotny. Maybe if there were more of me sitting here, one of us would have remembered him."

That made me spit water onto my keyboard.

HoceyJoe said...

I don't think he'd be a bad plan B, if they can't land drury, gomez or the like. IF he's signs here we won't have to be the face of the team, capt. and all that. He'd just have to deal with playing hockey.

Chris in Fairfax said...

I think Yashin should absolutley be signed. I spent three years in Russia and there is a special bond between Russian hockey players that Americans couldn;t understand. I think the idea of not only playing with OV and Semin, but being responsible for their elevation would be a challenge Yashin has never gotten anywhere else.

Smyth is a great player, but I wouldn't be suprised if his judgement wasn't a little clouded after all the upheval he went through this year.

Anonymous said...

This would be about "plan c" if we strikeout on the big 3, then somebody like Nylander. This guy sort of scares me -- I chatted with a long time Islanders fan and they were not too keen on this guy. He does have talent, no doubt and he isn't completely over the hill age wise. I'd do it, last resort and nothing over $2.0M for one year only.

Doogie said...

Yashin is textbook Phoenix Coyotes. (Also, I see Smyth sadly going to the highest bidder, which might be the Isles, but could very well be the Flyers, given their historic love for the gritty guy and willingness to pay through the nose for him in a vain effort to turn it round quickly.)