Huge deal ices Yashin

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

If the NHL season is cancelled, Alexei Yashin won't be heading home to cash in on some mega-Russian rubles.

While the New York Islanders centre has had plenty of offers to play for big bucks in the Russian Elite League during the NHL lockout, Yashin has virtually ruled out playing overseas this year because of problems finding insurance.

With seven years and $65 million (all terms US) remaining on his contract with the Islanders, Yashin can't find an insurance company willing to take on more than a small portion of his deal and the premiums are high.

$33G PER MILLION

Sources say insurance companies are asking for close to $33,000 per million to protect contracts of Yashin's nature. A rough estimate indicates it could cost Yashin or any team that signs him more than $2.1 million to insure his contract for the rest of this season.

Yashin couldn't be reached for comment last night, but Todd Diamond, an agent with International Sports Advisors in New Jersey, told the Sun the chances of Yashin playing are "slim."

"We've pretty well ruled out (Yashin) playing this year because of the coverage problems with insurance. If this stretches into a second year, then this is something we'll have to look at it and make a decision," said Diamond.

So instead of getting ready to play in Russia if the season is iced, Yashin, a former Senator, has been skating three or four times a week on Long Island to stay in shape.

The 31-year-old Yashin, a graduate of the Moscow Dynamo program, could have played wherever he wanted to in Russia. Teams are paying upward of $2 million for NHL stars like Lightning stars Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

"We had several (Russian) teams call, and Alexei Yashin is an attractive option because he doesn't have to count as an import player," said Diamond.

SCHAEFER ON THE MOVE: One player heading overseas is Senators LW Peter Schaefer. He confirmed he'll sign with Bolsano in the Italian league in the next day or two. While Schaefer had been working out in Saskatchewan for the last month, he arrived in Ottawa this week to continue training and work out the final details on a contract with his agent, Ron Perrick. "I'm just waiting for everything to get finalized. I've already had one of these contracts in Europe fall through on me, so I'm being a little bit careful," said Schaefer, who has also made stops in Vancouver and Hawaii to train during the lockout. "But this should be pretty good for me. This team is talking to about three NHL players and I think we might see a situation where there's a flurry of players signing over there." Schaefer added: "I just want to get back to playing."


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