Alexei Yashin update: Agent claims that one NHL team sent an offer

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Earlier today, we discussed the far-fetched chance of Alexei Yashin returning to the NHL for the 2011-12 season. For the sake of discretion, we’d like to reiterate just how unlikely it would be to see the oft-criticized Russian center back in the league. (Dobber Hockey’s amusing “projection” of his NHL stats serves as a good indicator of the long odds.)

That being said, it’s still an amusing hypothetical situation to discuss on a slow day in mid-July. Yashin is looking for a new contract, after all, so it’s not like an NHL return is impossible.

Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov is often a great source of information on Russian hockey player news, whether he’s running an interview or translating reports that would be indecipherable for folks who admit that English is their first (and only) language. Chesnokov translated a report from Sovetsky Sport in which Yashin’s agent Mark Gandler claims that he received an offer from one NHL team.

Is there an interest in Alexei from the NHL?

“We have already received one offer.”

From the Islanders?

“I will not discuss what the club is. We are considering the expediency of the offer.”

Gandler added:

“We will meet with Alexei this week for the first time. We will discuss everything. We are not in a hurry. At this moment we have not had any serious negotiations with any club. It would have been unreasonable to do that until we are sure that everything is good health wise. As far as the leagues are concerned, we will look at both sides [the NHL and the KHL].”

Chesnokov points out the legitimate possibility that this supposed NHL interest is just a negotiating ploy, reminding us that Gandler tried to create a similar stir last year. Chesnokov also tabs foreign team Avtomobilist as a club that might be interested in keeping Yashin overseas.

So, again, it’s safe to say that Yashin’s NHL return would be a long shot. It’s like investing in an old sports car that certainly drives fast and loud, but has enough issues in its repair history to indicate that it is a lemon. If he wants to come back, the price would have to be right for both sides and both sides would need to be comfortable with that situation.

It’s still an entertaining scenario to imagine – even if it’s from a pure rubbernecking standpoint – though, isn’t it?

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.