Alexi Yashin is reportedly in talks to return to the NHL and the New York Islanders after spending the last four seasons in his native Russia. The report in Newsday says Islanders general manager Garth Snow has confirmed that talks are underway.
Yashin spent 12 seasons in the NHL, racking up 781 points in 850 games in a career that included stints with the Ottawa Senators and Islanders. He scored at least 30 goals in a season six times and at least 40 twice. His best season came in 1998-99 when he set career-highs in goals (44) and assists (50).
Following that season, he refused to play out the final year of his contract and demanded a trade when his requests for a new deal were not met. He eventually sat out the season and returned for the 2000-01 campaign. The following year he was traded to the Islanders. Although Yashin played reasonably well for the Islanders, he never came close to reaching the numbers he achieved in Ottawa and his contract was eventually bought out with four years remaining. About $2.2 million a year of that buyout will continue to count against the Islanders' salary cap until 2014-15 even if Yashin re-signs with them.
While in Russia, Yashin has remained healthy, averaging about .85 points per game.