Monday, June 11, 2007

Yashin to the Caps?

Jun 13 - Not even a few weeks after the Islanders bought out Alexei Yashin's contract, there is now speculation about where the veteran forward will land next.

According to a report from The Canadian Press, Yashin's agent, Mark Gandler, will reach out to some teams to gauge interest.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what's going to be in my future. We'll see what happens," Yashin told The Canadian Press.

Gandler's list of potential teams to call: the Canadiens, Oilers, Capitals, Flyers, Devils and Senators.

The most intriguing is Ottawa, considering his controverisal time there earlier in his career. He was suspended for the 1999-2000 season for not honoring his contract, leading to his 2001 trade to the Isles.

After Yashin got dumped by the Islanders like a Hilton with herpes, his name floated around a bit as possible top center for the Caps. Personally, I'll pass. Here is why:

1) The Caps have a great locker room vibe from all accounts, and I dont think Yashin would be a help. He might not start fights in the back room, but by mailing it in, he certainly brings an attitude to the table that I dont want to see spread to other players. And there is no doubt that Yashin has checked out. I mean, the guy was CAPTAIN of his team and was benched during the playoffs.

2) After the Jagr period, the Caps have been pretty good with their money. They have an incredibly low salary total, and they have been acquiring "forgotten" players. Some work out (Milan Jurcina) and some stay forgotten (Jiri Novotny). Its part of rebuilding and overall I think GMGM has done a pretty decent job on a tight leash. Why spend money on Yashin? He has flaked in every way with the Islanders and as Greg Logan at Newsday notes, Alexei is a big boy. He knew what he was promising/getting into when he signed on to be a franchise player. If he didnt want to carry the Islanders, then he shouldnt have acted like he was up for the task (note here that I still think the Isles were dumbasses for signing him to such a large contract). Why spend money on dead weight?

3) I dont think Yashin's brand of laziness would be a good model for Alex Semin. I love watching Semin play and I think he is the future of this team, but I dont think his head is in the right place all the time. Thats all I am going to say on that so dont read anything else into this statement.

4) The Islanders had to get rid of Yashin in order to have Ryan Smyth take them seriously about re-signing. No one can call Ryan Smyth a prima donna for this -- the guy is just very, very focused on winning and takes leadership/loyalty seriously. Smyth is going to have his pick of offers when he becomes a free agent on July 1st so why would Captain Canada stay with the Islanders when the man wearing the "C" isnt a leader? In fact, why would any free agent take them seriously with a Captain like that?

At the end of the day, there are plenty of reasons on both sides of the column for Yashin. I also want to be clear that I think Yashin is a good guy, but I dont want to see him on the Caps. If the Caps are interested in making a a solid free agent acquisition and spending some dough on it, they can do better then this. I would rather see us put the cash towards a top D-man.


Ally Sinistra said...

When he was benched during the playoffs, I knew he was over. Yang made the smartest decision with the Isles so far by firing Yash and Milbury.

Anonymous said...

Smith is a crybaby