He may just be tired of the schedule, or speaking the language, or just tired of the brokering that goes on in the NHL. Whatever the case, Alexei Yashin is picking up his sticks and he is going home. He signs a one year deal with Russian Superleague Locomotiv.
Yashin will be a big fish in a small pond returning home, but that also means that he doesn't want to play the best in the world. He would rather go home. That is good and all if I felt he was really getting shafted by the NHL free agent system. But even if he did get something as small as $2.25 million (the largest figure I heard that was offered to him), he still makes $8 million from his buy out from New York Islanders. If it's about the money, it's a pretty poor excuse.
It could be that Yashin is just not into the NHL. That is good and all, but why have your agent out pushing bigger numbers on teams interested? It is clear to me that Yashin wanted it all, the big contract and more millions to play in the NHL. The NHL just didn't want to give that to him.
Yashin makes a mistake here because he damages all hope of getting on a NHL team in the future. General managers will seriously think twice about asking the forward back after taking a year off in a less that caliber league than the NHL. This maybe the last we see Yashin in the NHL.
If you want to be the best, you play against the best.
On a side note, it's old news I know. Caps sign Jamie Hunt and David Steckel to a one and two year contracts respectively. Not sure if either one will see time in the NHL. There are always surprises when camp comes around.