Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/18/11 at 04:13 PM ET
According to Sovetsky Sport’s Dmitry Ponomarekno, the KHL’s powerhouse team, SKA St. Petersburg, has chosen to not renew the contracts of Maxim “Su-33” Sushinsky or former NHL’er Alexei Yashin, yielding speculation and a suggestion from his agent, Mark Gandler, that (per Sovetsky Sport’s Sergei Bergishev) Yashin has actually received a contract offer from an NHL team which Gandler refuses to name.
Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnkov’s keeping up-to-date news regarding Yashin’s situation available via his Twitter account, and Sport-Express’s Igor Larin reports that Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg is courting Yashin, but there are some pretty rational observers, including Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien, who believe that the nut-job that is Gandler (he’s a terrible agent who tends to believe that his clients’ market values are millions and millions more than reality would suggest, and he loves strong-arming NHL teams by threatening to and eventually making good upon his threats to send serviceable NHL’ers to European teams, from which they rarely return) might actually not be living in the realm of fantasy.
Yashin’s now 37 and dropped from a point-per-game pace or nearly so to posting 33 points in 52 games for the KHL’s de-facto All-Star Team last season, but he remains one of those highly-skilled centers that could, at least in theory, put up 50 or 60 points for a team looking to bolster its top six.
I just don’t know whether it’s realistic to suggest that Yashin’s me-first-and-then-also-me attitude has mellowed at all, whether he’s any easier for coaches and/or teammates to deal with or whether he and Gandler are willing to agree to a bargain-basement contract to make Yashin that much more appealing to an NHL team.
My gut says that he signs with another KHL team, but one never knows.
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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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