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18 мая 2007 года. 
Snow backs Yashin // Newsday


For those who wondered whether a buyout of center Alexei Yashin might be a condition that had to be met if the Islanders hope to sign free agent Ryan Smyth, apparently it's not. Negotiations have yet to begin in earnest with Smyth, but general manager Garth Snow yesterday expressed strong support for Yashin, describing him as "a vital part of the organization."

Right after the Islanders' first-round playoff loss to Buffalo ended, Smyth said, "I don't want to say it's embarrassing ... but a lot of guys didn't leave whatever they had out there until the end." Some interpreted that as a shot at Yashin, who was scoreless in five playoff games.

Since the end of the season, Islanders fans at one Web site have organized a petition and letter-writing campaign urging owner Charles Wang to exercise his right to buy out the remaining four years of Yashin's contract valued at $26.45 million at a cost of $17.63 million spread over the next eight years. Snow claimed he was unaware of the fan movement, and his comments about Yashin indicated a buyout no longer is a consideration if it ever was.

"Alexei Yashin has put up some great numbers for us," Snow said. "When you think about when he first came here in 2001, that was a situation under previous ownership where the franchise struggled. They traded for Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca, Adrian Aucoin and Chris Osgood and turned the franchise around.

"He's been a vital part of this organization. At the end of the day, he played 58 games and had 50 points. Who knows what kind of season he would have had if he didn't get injured? The first two months, he came out like gangbusters, and he couldn't be stopped. We're looking forward to having the same start again next season."

Yashin totaled 28 points in the first 22 games before suffering a knee injury that put him on the disabled list twice during the season. His agent, Marc Gandler, said Yashin would have no problem surrendering the captaincy if it was considered best for the team, but he was hoping to finish his contract. Sounds like Yashin can expect to collect his full $7.6 million next season.

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