Yashin yearns for NHL return

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

Alexei Yashin is ready to return to the NHL.

But if anybody wants the unrestricted free-agent centre, they'd better make their pitch because he has a lucrative offer to return to Yaroslavl in the Russian league next season.

It's believed the Wild and Canadiens have held talks with Yashin's agents.

The 35-year-old Yashin, a former No. 1 pick of the Senators, had 43 points in 56 games this season with Yaroslavl. He returned to his homeland after receiving a $17.6-million US buyout from the Islanders last summer.

"Some teams were asking me about (Yashin) at the under-18 championships in (Kazan, Russia last month)," said agent Todd Diamond. "We had a few teams that were inquiring. He had a great year over there. He was the MVP of the league and he was the leading scorer in the playoffs.

"He'd like to get back to the NHL. He had a lot of success in Russia and he has the chance to return there. I know right now that NHL teams aren't really thinking about the future, (but) he's not going to be around on July 1 because he'll already be committed to going back to Russia."


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