Kukla's Korner Hockey
by William Morrison on 09/08/11 at 10:51 PM ET
On Tuesday, Katie Strang of Newsday reported that Alexei Yashin skated with the New York Islanders at the team facility in Syosset, New York. There have been many reports surrounding Yashin, the Islanders, and his reason for being in New York. I don’t think the Islanders have anything to lose by bringing Yashin in on a training camp tryout.
While the team has nothing to lose in bringing Yashin in for a tryout, they have everything to lose if he is given a chance to make the team. GM Garth Snow and owner Charles Wang have a long love affair with Yashin, but it will kill the development of the Islanders and what the team has tried to build over the last few seasons if he is given a shot to make the team.
The ongoing development of the Isles young group of stud forwards and stud defenseman would be killed by allowing Yashin a chance to make the team. First off, if Yashin were to make the team, it would take a roster spot away from one of the young promising forwards. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want Yashin on the team in exchange for having one of the young forwards spend another season in the minors.
Don’t get me wrong, Yashin has all the ability and skill in the world. Yashin could come into training camp very well conditioned and in great shape, but is it really worth it for the Isles to kill what they have been building for the last few years since the buyout of Yashin’s contract? Absolutely not. It will send the wrong message to all of the young players if Yashin makes the team.
Yashin may have all the talent in the world, but the Isles don’t want talent in the dressing room if that player doesn’t fit in with the other guys in the room. The Isles have done a nice job of forming chemistry with this young team and bringing Yashin in would only risk hurting that chemistry. The Isles hang out with each other all the time off the ice, some live with each other, and everyone gets along very well. Bringing in Yashin would madden the fans and has the potential to kill the chemistry that the team has been building over the last few seasons.
I’m interested to see what the younger players think of Yashin at this point in his career. Yashin is 37 years old. He does have 337 career goals, 444 career assists and 781 career points in 850 games played, but at what expense are the Islanders willing to give Yashin a chance to make the NHL roster? Hopefully they don’t do it at the risk of messing up team chemistry.
The Islanders Informer
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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