SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Yashin heads to Moscow

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

Former NHLer Alexei Yashin is planning to join CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League, according to the website Sovsport.

He is to fly to Moscow Thursday for a medical, at which point the club will decide whether to sign the 37-year-old.

Yashin had expressed some interest in joining Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, which lost its players in a plane crash earlier this month. However, Lokomotiv is suspending operations in the KHL this season.

Yashin spent the past two seasons with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, and had 97 points in 108 games. He played seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators and five with the New York Islanders.

FIRST SWISS C

New York Islanders defenceman Mark Streit is the first Swiss-born player to captain an NHL team.

Streit, a native of Bern, Switzerland, was named captain of the Islanders Wednesday, taking over for retired forward Doug Weight. He is the 13th captain in Islanders history.

"It's truly an honour to be named the captain of such a historic franchise with a rich history," Streit said. "To follow in the footsteps of so many legendary leaders that represented the Islanders is a role I am excited to fill. It is a privilege to be considered one of the leaders of this team and I'm committed to taking this team to the next level."

Streit missed all of last season with a shoulder injury after recording 11 goals and 38 assists in 2009-10.

FLYERS INK FIRST-ROUNDER

Sean Couturier, the Philadelphia Flyers' first-round draft pick last summer, signed a three-year entry-level contract Wednesday.

Couturier, at one time considered a potential first overall pick, was drafted eighth by the Flyers. The pick came from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Jeff Carter trade.

In 58 games with Drummondville of the QMJHL last season, Couturier had 36 goals and 60 assists. He also played for Canada at the world junior championship in Buffalo.

Couturier had a goal and an assist in his NHL preseason debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday.

HOSSA RETURNS

Winger Marian Hossa rejoined the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday after missing the first five days of training camp.

Hossa stayed in Slovakia to attend the funeral of Pavol Demitra, who died in the Sept. 7 plane crash that wiped out the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, and witness the birth of his daughter, Mia.

"It was a tough week," Hossa told the Chicago Tribune. "First the tragic accident. What happened was terrible. I lost a couple of people on that plane I knew really well and a really close one. It was tough to deal with that. After the next couple of days my daughter was born. It was a really tough time and at the end it was the best day of my life."

SENATORS ON TVA

TVA Sports is gearing up for a big season of Ottawa Senators hockey.

The all-sports network, which was launched Sept. 12, announced Wednesday it will broadcast 38 Senators games this season, starting with the club's home opener Oct. 11 against the Minnesota Wild.

The broadcast crew will feature play-by-play man Pierre Rinfret, colour analyst Yvon Pedneault and former NHLer Enrico Ciccone between the benches.

"We are happy to bring the Senators to our network right from the start, giving our viewers the opportunity to see the best players in the world," said Pierre Dion, president and CEO of TVA Group Inc. "This is a first for the Ottawa Senators and their fans, to have a French broadcasting team on site with our commentators and analysts for local games."

The Senators are keen to have TVA Sports on board.

"We're excited about our partnership with TVA Sports and what this will bring to our francophone audience," Senators president Cyril Leeder said. "With TVA Sports showing 38 games, we expect that more than 60 Senators regular-season games will now be televised in French, the most we've ever been able to provide to our fans."

BRIEFLY

The ECHL approved an expansion team for San Francisco. The San Francisco Bulls, owned by a group that will be fronted by former player and Toronto native Pat Curcio, will begin play next season ... New York Rangers forward Brad Richards missed his second day of practice because of a groin injury. The 31-year-old's injury is described as minor, though ... Former first-round pick Joey Hishon still hasn't skated in the Colorado Avalanche training camp. The 19-year-old is still healing from a concussion he received in the Memorial Cup last May ... The New Jersey Devils haven't had a captain since Jamie Langenbrunner was traded last January and that's not going to change before the team's season opener. New coach Peter DeBoer will announce his pick before the Devils play Philly Oct. 8.


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