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декабря 1999 года.
Yashin enjoying taste of Big Apple
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
MONTREAL -- Alexei Yashin will welcome the new millennium in New York City, but he doesn't expect to raise a glass of bubbly to toast a new contract.
As the world welcomes the arrival of the 21st century on New Year's Eve, the Senators' AWOL No. 19 isn't about to change his resolve for a new deal from the club or a trade to get back on the ice.
While Yashin wasn't willing to discuss his future with the Senators in an exclusive telephone interview with the Sun yesterday, he hasn't changed his plans to return to Switzerland next week to resume training.
Trying to get the Senators to renegotiate the final year of his $3.6-million US contract, Yashin didn't even mention the word hockey during a 20-minute conversation and was unconcerned there hasn't been any movement.
Working out with Swiss Elite League's Kloten Flyers -- located 10 minutes outside of Zurich -- Yashin is quite content to wait as long as it takes to get the Senators to give in to his demands for a new deal.
"I'm just going to keep working on improving my game," said Yashin. "If it helps get the situation resolved, I'm in the best shape of my life. I feel good."
VISITING GANDLER, ALT
Speaking from the home of his New Jersey-based agent, Mark Gandler, Yashin arrived in North America from Zurich on Dec. 22 to spend time with his family and girlfriend/actress Carol Alt.
Yashin, who has been joined by his mother Tatiana, father Valery and brother Dimitry in New York, has no plans to return to Ottawa during his short stay because it would only set off a media frenzy.
Instead, Yashin wants time to enjoy the visit privately. He and Gandler turned down a request to appear on a Dave Hodge Special on TSN with Alt because Yashin wants to remain out of the spotlight.
"It's great to be back with the family and friends," said Yashin, who spent part of Christmas Day at Alt's home. "As long as we're together it doesn't matter where it is -- whether it's in Ottawa or New York.
"This has been fun for me. We celebrated my mother's birthday (on Christmas Eve) and we've just been having a good visit. Nothing has changed. There's a lot to do in New York and so much for me to see."
Suspended by the Senators for the balance of the season on Nov. 8 and told by the club he'll owe Ottawa another year on his contract, Yashin maintains he isn't going to give an inch in his dispute.
Working with Russian mentor/coach Vladimir Yurzinov in Switzerland, Yashin plans to return to his role as an a pseudo-assistant coach/scout when he gets back to Kloten next week.
"Nothing has changed. He's not going anywhere else," said Gandler. "He's just going to go back and keep working the way he's been working and try to work on improving his game. Kloten is a good situation for him.
"He's not an official assistant coach, but he helps out by going to games with (Yurzinov) and they speak about the way the team is playing after every game. He helps out in every way possible."
It's ironic Yashin -- who will attend a party at the home of an artist friend of Gandler's Thursday -- will be only minutes from Madison Square Garden at midnight, because he's made no secret of his love for the Rangers.
Unfortunately for Yashin, the Senators' position hasn't changed either, and any callers are being told not to bother asking GM Marshall Johnston about the wayward centre because he's simply not available.
Instead of celebrating with his teammates, Yashin won't be far from Times Square, where the ageless Dick Clark will welcome the new millennium with another version of Rockin' New Year's Eve.
Even a no-show needs a holiday, but Yashin hasn't changed his tune. The wait continues.
OTTAWA (CP) -- Fans hurt by Alexei Yashin's breach of contract with the Ottawa Senators have no more legal recourse than consumers hurt by a wildcat strike, the lawyer for the NHL star argued Monday.
Senators season-ticket holder Leonard Potechin is suing Yashin and his agent, Mark Gandler, claiming the holdout has diminished the value of Potechin's $4,000 ticket package.
The claim is either "frivolous or vexatious," lawyer Fred Seller told Superior Court Justice Michel Charbonneau in asking that the case be dismissed.
"If loss of enjoyment were a (legal) condition, there would be lawsuits all over the Montreal Canadiens," quipped Seller.
Yashin is in the final year of a contract that was to pay him $3.6 million US this season, but has refused to play without a new deal. The Senators recently told their 1998-99 leading scorer and team captain he's not welcome back this season.
Seller, representing both Yashin and Gandler, argued they did not target or intentionally hurt fans in their dispute with the club.
In fact, Potechin's lawsuit clearly shows Yashin and Gandler are thinking of no one but themselves, Sellers said.
"The plaintiffs' sole purpose was to further their own personal gain without regard to the (fans)," Sellers said, quoting from the suit.
Damage to fans is a byproduct of the Yashin-Senators fight, he said, and tort law is clear.
"I must have the intention of punching you," Sellers said.
"The pain you cause is a byproduct of that intention."
Customers of strike-bound companies -- even illegal strikes -- have tried suing the strikers and their unions and have failed, Sellers noted.
Moreover, the only contract the fans have is with the Senators to gain admission to games. No one forced them to buy the tickets and the games are going on.
The suit, he concluded, is "nothing more than a disgruntled fan saying 'I'm not going to take it anymore.' This is not what our court system is all about."
Arthur Cogan, a theatrical Ottawa lawyer, replied for Potechin that just because the suit is unusual doesn't mean it shouldn't be heard.
Cogan went straight for the heart of Seller's argument that fans were not targeted.
It has become common practice for NHL players to hold out until fans force team management to meet the star's demands.
Moreover, Russian-born Gandler and Yashin went even further, he charged, by suggesting fans were racists and bigots.
"Anger the fans to such an extent ... that they will ensure he gets traded and he gets his new contract," posited Cogan.
Cogan wants both Yashin and Gandler on the stand under oath to explain their holdout strategy in detail.
Charbonneau, who questioned both lawyers sharply, showed a lively and personal knowledge of hockey.
"If (the Senators) told us Yashin would be playing, is that not part of the contract?" he asked Seller.
Later, the judge quickly challenged Cogan when he stated Yashin played 45 minutes per game last season.
"How about 25 minutes?" Charbonneau suggested.
Nevertheless, Cogan did establish that Yashin is central to the Senators' product.
"If it was a second-rate player, I wouldn't be standing here," Cogan told the judge.
Charbonneau reserved judgment on whether the case should go ahead.
Outside the court, Cogan said he's confident the precedent-setting suit will at least get heard.
"That's how players have been able to do that (forced renegotiation) in the past," said Cogan.
"Get the fans upset, the fans go to the club, the club gets back to the table with the player and gives him what he wants. So that (fan) target is very essential for his bargaining position. In the past, fans were docile. Ottawa fans have done something about it."
Potechin is seeking unspecified damages, which he has said he'll donate to charity.
Neither Potechin, Yashin nor Gandler was in court Monday.
The NHL Players' Association may have thrown its support behind Alexei Yashin as an organization, but it hasn't stopped its members from speaking out against the Senators superstar.
Dallas Stars sniper Brett Hull was the latest to join a long list of players who voiced their displeasure over the situation.
"I'm all for a guy getting what he deserves," said Hull, "but I'm also a guy who believes in living up to his end of a contract."
Yashin's choice to hold out for a new contract rather than fulfil the final year of his current agreement with the Senators is the biggest bone of contention among players.
"I think it stems from misrepresentation," added Hull. "Obviously someone is giving him some bad advice. The contract was good enough when they signed it, but suddenly there's a problem with it."
Hull says he would never feel comfortable going back on his word, but that's just his own opinion.
Hull says he has a hard time accepting the situation as it tends to send the wrong message to fans.
Over the course of his career, Hull has seen a change in fans' perception of players. He feels the escalation in players salaries has jaded a number of fans and actions such as Yashin's make things worse.
"Things have gotten out of hand in the last few years," said Hull.
What Hull feels many need to understand is that like any profession, the upper echelon of "employees" will make higher salaries, such as doctors or lawyers. But he admitted that such status should only come after a player has earned it.
Senators captain Alexei Yashin celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday in the small town of Kloten, Switzerland, surrounded by mother Tatiana, father Valery, girlfriend Carol Alt and agent Mark Gandler.
And while his parents, Alt and Gandler will only be in town for the weekend, the Senators' holdout centre isn't expected to board a flight back to North America in time with Monday's looming deadline.
Instead, Yashin is expected to ignore the Senators' warning to be back in Ottawa by the club's drop-dead date of Nov. 8 and is willing to risk a suspension for the rest of the season to get what he wants.
Demanding a new contract or trade, Yashin has refused to honour the final year of his $3.6-million US deal and maintained he won't be back despite warnings he won't play again this season from GM Marshall Johnston.
"The minute he doesn't show up, this story is going to get really interesting," said an NHL GM, who asked to remain anonymous, yesterday. "What do the Senators do next and what does Yashin do next?
"I know the Senators are serious and I know just because they've set a deadline it doesn't mean they're going to start entertaining offers for trades. I really believe the NHL wants to see how far it can take this one."
There has been no next move in this war since Johnston sent a fax to Gandler and the officials from the NHL Players Association last week. Neither side has felt a need to respond.
Barring a miracle, Yashin won't report in time for the deadline and the next letter Johnston faxes around the hockey world will be to inform Gandler and the union that Yashin won't be welcomed back this year.
"We haven't heard anything," said Todd Diamond, an agent in Gandler's International Sports Advisors office yesterday. "Nothing has changed."
Still, this battle is about to take on a new face.
The Senators and the NHL are going into unchartered waters by going after Yashin with a suspension.
Spearheaded by owner Rod Bryden, the team is trying to force Yashin to make a move.
That's not going to happen -- which means the Senators are going to have to change the locks on the door of the Corel Centre because Yashin isn't going to be allowed to practice or play again with the team this season. Unless Yashin challenges the ruling by showing up.
BATTLE LINES DRAWN
"I know this is a personal battle, but if he shows up there the league is going to have a fight on its hands," said a high-profile agent. "What are they going to do now, allow Alexei Yashin to report for work?
"I don't know if you're allowed to do that. The collective bargaining agreement clearly spells out that players have to be paid. Nowhere does it say you can just set some date where you don't want the player back anymore."
At this point, the chances of Yashin reporting to the Senators are zero and none. He's quite willing to wait in Switzerland until he gets a trade to the New York Rangers or a new contract for next year from Ottawa.
SENS NOT BUDGING
Teams that have called the Senators have been rebuffed several times. Generally, they're told the club isn't entertaining any offers and Yashin will be a holdout for a long time because the team isn't making any moves.
At least one GM believes the club's stance is wrong.
"I'd trade him right now," said the GM. "You look at the Vancouver Canucks in the situation they had with Pavel Bure and they waited too long to make that trade. They couldn't save themselves at the point.
"I know the Senators are winning and everything is going great right now. To me, the best time to deal is when you're in a position of strength, and trading Alexei Yashin would be a popular move."
This game of hardball with Yashin is about to enter a new phase with his suspension Monday. The fireworks that happen next could be the most interesting chapter in this saga.
Bahnhofstrasse, located in the heart of the banking capital of the world, is widely recognized as one of the most expensive and cleanest streets in Europe. It's so well maintained that locals claim you could eat a meal off the ground. Daily, they walk down it peeking into the windows of the Rolex shop, the Versace designer clothing palace and the jewelery stores, gazing at some of the most outrageous prices in the world. The rich players in this city see it as pocket change to drop $4,500 on a new outfit or $15,000 on a new watch. This is not a street for the commonman bringing home a regular paycheque. "The joke here is that the best day to take your wife shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse is Sunday because that's the day the stores are closed," laughs Dave Fitzpatrick, a Canadian who makes his home in Zurich. And it's here, on a weekday night, where an unemployed Alexei Yashin walks down this street with the ability to buy anything his heart desires.
But material goods aside, what Yashin really wants, his money can't buy. He wants to play hockey and he wants respect. The irony of the Senators captain's decision to come here while he waits for a new contract or trade isn't lost on a visitor. He has elected not to collect his $3.6-million US salary, and he still has plenty of change in his pocket. This is a fight that has turned dirty. The arena in Bulach, Switzerland -- 15 minutes south of Zurich -- is quiet as the Kloten Flyers go through their regular paces under the scrutiny of Russian coach Vladimir Yurzinov. It's bleak, dark and freezing as the Flyers go round and round.
Dressed in blue, white, yellow and black jerseys the Kloten team prepares for its game against Bern. Every drill has a purpose. While the Flyers have plenty of skill, the player who stands out is the one that doesn't play -- Yashin. He slides a puck through his legs, behind his back and then fires a shot to the top shelf. It catches nothing but net. Seven weeks ago, Yashin came here to get away from the distractions, and to be with a coach he considers his second father.
"He's the best at what he does in the world, how could I not benefit from this?" asks Yashin. He skates mainly on the fifth line with the junior prospects. Yashin is working as a defenceman and is smiling as he goes through his drills with the rest of the players. Yashin has probably never been in better shape. He has lost 10 lbs. since arriving. Under normal circumstances he'll work out for two hours daily -- including 90 minutes on the ice, and a half-hour run with the juniors later. Not only is he trying to stay sharp by remaining in good physical condition, practices are designed so he can keep his technique. He spends a lot of time moving the puck around and trying moves on a goaltender.
"I don't think you can just become a bad player overnight," says Yashin. "Just because you don't play for awhile, who is to say that you suddenly can't do it anymore? A lot of people have come back and played well. "I don't think you can say that if you miss a certain amount of time then you can't play anymore. That's not the way it works. If you're a good player, you have to keep working on your game. That's what I'm trying to do." When he's not on the ice, he spends part of the day talking hockey with Yurzinov. He consults the team on the power play and has travelled across Switzerland and Italy to scout games in the evening.
"This has given me a chance to look at another side of the hockey world," says Yashin. Sitting behind the wheel of the Volkswagen he's rented for his extended stay here, Yashin is listening to a band at the top of the charts in Russia and is wheeling his way through the streets of small-town Kloten. "I like it here," says Yashin. "This is the perfect place for me right now if I'm not going to be playing hockey. The city is great, Zurich is only 10 minutes away and the people have treated me with such respect."
As he walks into Ristorante Mercato on Marktgasse a little after 1 p.m., Yashin is given a smile and wave by the Italian owner and told to choose whatever table he'd like for lunch. Obviously, he's been here before. After throwing back a gulp of apple juice, Yashin tells the waiter he'll have the usual -- chicken and pasta with tomato sauce. The food isn't as good as a familiar Ottawa eatery to Yashin -- Tony Cuccaro's Capones West -- but it serves the purpose. Sitting over a three-hour lunch he talks about his new life and his old life, with the Senators. He admits to missing his family and friends back in Ottawa, but claims to be happy and quite content to sit for as long as it takes to get what he wants from the Senators.
Living in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Kloten with Sam Ftorek -- the son of New Jersey Devils coach Robbie Ftorek -- Yashin will spend the next couple of weeks by himself. Ftorek elected to go back to New Jersey for knee surgery, but Yashin has plenty of company on the way. Girlfriend/actress Carol Alt has arrived from shooting a television series in Toronto and will spend the weekend. His mother Tatiana, father Valery, brother Dmitry and New Jersey-based agent Mark Gandler will be in town Nov. 5 to help Yashin celebrate his 26th birthday.
He welcomes the visitors because it does get lonely. Sitting at the Spaghetti Factory in downtown Zurich, Yashin admits to enjoy having a visitor from Canada so that he can get filled in on all the latest happenings back home. He carries his cellphone everywhere. "I spent 10 days here in the summer and I really enjoyed it. That's part of the reason I came back here. This is a great city. I'm not very good with the language but a lot speak English," says Yashin.
The telephone rings at 10:30 p.m., as Yashin walks down a well-lighted canal in downtown Zurich and heads to a Parkade to drive his Canadian visitor back to an airport hotel and on the other end of the line is Alt. She's calling to tell Yashin she probably won't be able to catch the 7:30 p.m. flight out of Toronto to Zurich which means she'll probably be rerouted through London and won't arrive until later in the day.
The two met during the NHL Awards in Toronto. They had their first date at the Molson Indy and saw each other at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York before Yashin returned to Ottawa in September. "I'm looking forward to spending some time with her because we haven't seen each other," says Yashin.
Should the holdout continue through December, Yashin plans to spend New Year's Eve of the new millennium in New York with his family. Normally, European teams shut down for a couple of weeks at Christmas. "I've always been on the road at New Year's and if I'm still waiting some things are more important that hockey," says Yashin. "This is a chance to spend the start of the year 2000 with my family." At the end of practice, Yashin is skating towards the bench to get his stick when three small children approach him for an autograph. One-by-one he signs and smiles as they walk away happy.
Laughing and joking, a German man stands in the corner talking to a visitor from Kanada (as it's spelled over here) and wondering why this guy Yashin isn't playing in the National Hockey League. "He's got great skills," says the man who just watched Yashin score on 13-of-15 shots at a Swiss goalie. "He's waiting for a new contract or trade," the man is told by the visitor. "They should give him whatever he wants," says the man. "Well, that's not the way it works," says the visitor. Money means little here. A hamburger in the hotel restaurant will cost you $25. A cup of coffee is $4, a bottle of mineral water is $5 and taxicabs are extremely expensive. Yashin can afford to live here for as long as he wants. It just seems odd that in a fight about money, he'd position himself in the most expensive city in the world.
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun KLOTEN, SWITZERLAND --
It's a war Alexei Yashin's new teammates would rather stay away from. The Kloten Flyers know the problems the Senators centre is having with his contract at home, but they're not going to let it influence the way they feel about the player who skates with them on a daily basis.
"I tell friends at home that I know Alexei Yashin and they say to me, 'You're friends with that guy.' I tell them that he's not a bad guy and not to judge him just because of this," said Kloten forward Andrew McKim, a Canadian and former member of the Hull Olympiques. "I know the situation and I understand what he's going through, but it's something you really don't want to take sides in. I know he wants to be playing and if he could be playing, he would be."
Most of the players on the Kloten team are Swiss and don't understand a contract holdout. Under normal circumstances, the players over here sign one-year deals and that's the extent of what they get. While there is big money for some players -- about $200,000 per year -- Yashin could afford to take the whole team out for dinner without collecting a paycheque and not put a dent in his account.
Coach Vladimir Yurzinov doesn't mind having Yashin around, but doesn't want him to become a distraction. He told the Senators superstar before he came here that he didn't want reporters hanging around all the time. So far, it's been quiet. "He's fit in really well with the team," said McKim. "He doesn't get to play in the games, but he supports the guys well and he gets along well with everybody here. We all know what he's going through. "As a player, I understand his position, but as a Canadian who loves Ottawa, I understand the Senators' position as well. You have to wonder when the big money is all going to stop for the Canadian teams to survive.
"But if you're Alexei Yashin and you're lining up against Jaromir Jagr making $10 million, Peter Forsberg making $10 million and Steve Yzerman making $7.5 million, you wonder where you fit in. That's the business of it all." McKim, who makes his home in Newfoundland, has talked with Yashin about the situation several times. Players here are reluctant to talk to reporters because they don't know the whole story. Nobody here is quite sure if the Senators should give Yashin a new long-term contract to get him back on the ice.
McKim believes it would be in the best interests of both sides to settle it. "Is what he's doing any worse than what Eric Lindros did (when he refused to go to Quebec)? I don't think so," said McKim, who played in the Calgary farm system. "Nobody said anything about Eric Lindros. I know Alexei is taking a lot of criticism for this, but it's no worse "I know it's not good for the NHL teams and I know the goose that laid the golden egg has to stop somewhere. I just don't think people should be taking it personally. It's a business decision, not a hockey decision, and he's just doing what he thinks is best." As long as he remains over here, the doors to the Kloten dressing room will always be wide open for him.
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
Rogue Russian superstar Alexei Yashin says he won't be the first to blink in his cross-Atlantic battle of wills with the Ottawa Senators. In an interview with the Sun yesterday in the Swiss Alps, Yashin said while the Sens can't, for the sake of the team and its fans, let the bitter contract battle go on indefinitely, he can. "I'll wait whatever it takes," said Yashin, sitting at a restaurant in Kloten, a small town near Zurich.
Yashin came here to play hockey and work with former Moscow Dynamo coach Vladimir Yurzinov, now coach of the Swiss Elite League's Kloten Flyers. He added he's more than happy to tolerate his NHL career intermission until the Sens trade him or give him a new contract. "What does it matter, this is not totally my decision. It's not about how long I'm prepared to stay out. That's not the question, but I'll do whatever it takes," Yashin said. "Nobody knows how long it's going to be. I won't sit here and guess." If Yashin is supposed to be unhappy, he didn't look the part during a 90-minute workout with the Kloten Flyers -- he smiled frequently, joked with his teammates and looked comfortable in his surroundings.
"I'm going to focus on the people I'm working with here and the job I have to do here," Yashin added. "This a chance for me to become a better hockey player. When the people in North America do what they want to do, I'll deal with it. Improving his game "But I'm not going to sit here and do nothing. That wouldn't do me any good. This is a chance for me to work on other parts of my game and try to improve myself as a hockey player. That's what I'm focused on right now. What's happening at home, I'm not worried about it."
Choosing his words carefully, Yashin was reluctant to discuss details of his contract dispute or issues involving Senators owner Rod Bryden, team president Roy Mlakar and GM Marshall Johnston. He would not confirm he is willing to start collecting his $3.6 million US salary this season if Bryden allows Johnston to negotiate a new long-term deal that kicks in next season.
When pressed on the issue of whether he misses Ottawa, his family and his teammates, Yashin deflected the question and said he didn't want to talk about the possibility of a trade. "I never had a problem with the fans, my teammates or the team," said Yashin. "I always tried to do the best I felt that I could do. I've never tried to do anything different in my hockey career. "If the Ottawa Senators want me to play for the Ottawa Senators, I'll play for them. "If they feel it would be better for me to play for the New York Rangers, I'll play for the New York Rangers. I can't tell you whether I want to be traded or not because I'm not the one who makes that decision. I don't even want to discuss it." Despite being sued by a group of fans for $27.5 million for allegedly breaching his contract, being called selfish by Calgary Flames players and facing an unprecedented deadline to return from Bryden, Yashin seemed content.
Asked for his reaction to all three issues -- including the deadline, which is expected to be set for Dec. 4 -- Yashin had no interest in setting off another war of words in a battle now stretching into its third month. "It just seems hard for me to talk about this stuff because I'm not here trying to win the battle of public opinion. That's not what this is all about. Everybody who knows me understands my situation," he said. 'Not in my hands' "I don't want to sit here in Switzerland and make a bunch of comments because it's just not going to do any good in Ottawa.
This situation is not just in my hands and that's why I don't want to discuss it too much." While it's obvious Yashin is sensitive to what's being written and said about him in the Ottawa media, he's trying to use his experience to do more than just stay in shape for his hockey career. A long-time pupil of Yurzinov, Yashin has been acting as a consultant to his teacher. The two have scouted several games in the Swiss Elite League and Yurzinov often seeks Yashin out for advice.
"I don't know if it's as much advice as it is my opionion," Yashin said. "He knows from my experience in the NHL that I've been through some of this before and he's just looking for things that can help. "Since I've gotten here, they've really tried to create a work atmosphere here for me and I'm very happy with that. Coaching isn't my job but if somebody asks my opinion, I might be able to help them."
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
"The way I see it, they're going to have to get an arbitrator if this gets to that point," said the source. "Both sides are going to disagree and I think the NHL is willing to take on Yashin in this case. "There's nothing in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that says he shouldn't be a free agent. All the CBA says is that players who hold out won't be paid. It doesn't say anything about the player owing his team another year on the contract." Set an example The case could become an acid test for the NHL as many of its teams try to rein in runaway salary increases.
"The league would love to make an example out of Alexei Yashin and they're willing to use this one as a test case because if they get a judgment, it's going to be a precedent setting case," the source said. "A win by the league would affect all holdouts in the future."
The Senators contend Yashin should be denied the right to become a free agent because he's not willing to fulfil the final year of his existing five-year, $13-million US contract ... a deal he signed during his last holdout. Yashin, who didn't report for camp last month and was suspended, is prepared to sit all season and hopes to attract a Group II offer next summer. He is training with a pro team in Switzerland.
If a team -- like the New York Rangers -- made an offer to Yashin, the Senators could match in Canadian dollars and the league's assistance program would pay the exchange rate. No offers? "I don't think it's going to matter, because he's not going to get a Group II offer anyway," said the source. "He's a great player, but I just don't think there's any team in that position to make an offer. "I'm just not sure what they're going to accomplish with this holdout. I'd like to say (Yashin's agent) Mark Gandler is giving him bad advice, but I don't know what he's being told by Yashin in this case."
The source doesn't believe the Senators' case would stand up in court, but nobody is willing to predict what might happen in front of an arbitrator. "In my opinion, Yashin isn't going to owe them another year, but when you go to an arbitrator it's like throwing a ball in the air. You just don't know what way it's going to go," said the source. "The Senators could get sympathy from the arbitrator. It's pretty clear that if you send a rookie back, his contract just slides to the next year. There's nothing about a contract sliding back in the case of a holdout." Senators president Roy Mlakar, GM Marshall Johnston and Gandler all refused comment yesterday.
Gandler learned of the league's position in a meeting with Bettman at
the league's head office at a disciplinary hearing for Anaheim's Ruslan
Salei. "I'm just not going to say anything," said Gandler.
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"Звёзды с Востока"
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