"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Lightning organization go out to the family and friends of those involved in the tragic plane crash today in Yaroslavl, Russia. Even though it was thousands of miles away, today's events touched the hearts of our management, coaching staff and players. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Yaroslavl community as well as the KHL.
"On a personal note, hockey lost a great individual today in my former teammate and colleague, Brad McCrimmon. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."
There was even a discussion, however preliminary, about the possibility of Yashin playing more games in an Islanders uniform.
"About two years ago, we were talking to the Islanders," Yashin revealed. "The idea was about what it would take for me to join them late in the year and for the playoffs after my season in the KHL.The Islanders didn't make the playoffs and the idea didn't go any further.
"Let's face it, that's a long shot. A lot of things would have to work out and there would be the contract and the waiver process like Nabby had to go through. It's very complicated and I don't know if we could have pulled it off. Still, it was flattering to hear from them."
...the contract was signed last summer. I do not know why the CHL, which registers the player's contract, do not bother to report it.
Of the options in the NHL the most interesting was from the Rangers. I was interested in playing on attack with my friend Marion Gaborik. But the offer from New York constantly changed because they tried to get under the salary cap. I was offered a very complex contract which included various bonuses. In principle, everything suited me, but the Rangers representatives delayed negotiations without explanation. And we reached the agreement with Yaroslavl in a few minutes. I took a week to think it over, and on Thursday I signed the contract.
It appears the thawing-out process is well under way. A source told ESPN.com on Saturday [the NHL and KHL] are on the verge of signing a memorandum of understanding that would help avoid conflict in the areas of signed contracts and are already exchanging detailed information on respective player contracts in each league.
You know, I had a few good opportunities with Phoenix and Philly this summer. It just wasn't for me. I still have a year on my deal here. Phoenix was more serious toward the end. Philly was still trying to get Pronger and it was dragging along, and our KHL season was getting ready to start. I guess it's all relative.
It was really weird how it happened. We were maybe 15 games into the season, and they started healthy scratching our captain last year. One day I came in for the game, and I had a 'K' on my jersey. I was like, "What the heck?" The coach came over to me and said "cap-tain," and everyone started clapping. And that was it.
After a 16-year NHL career, Sergei Zubov is heading home as the 39-year old blueliner has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.
Zubov, who has spent his last 12 seasons with the Stars, only played 10 games with Dallas in 2008-09 because of a hip injury that required surgery. The Moscow-native was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1990 with the 85th overall draft pick. ... Zubov has 152 goals and 619 assists in 1068 career games.
Q: Viktor Kozlov signed in Russia earlier this week. There is also talk in Russia that Avangard Omsk is trying to get Michael Nylander over to the KHL. This brings the following question: in the absence of the transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russians, how can a player, like Nylander, with an NHL contract go and play it Russia?
KELLY: Technically, he can't. Unless the Capitals take certain steps to end his contract by buying him out or something like that. And this is one of the issues we have had with the KHL. We should be respecting each other's contracts. The NHL shouldn't be signing any players under contract in Russia, and vice versa, they shouldn't be signing guys who have NHL obligations. We will watch that very carefully, but they should not permit players, who have contractual obligations elsewhere, to sign.
Q: Even if the Capitals, for example, don't mind him signing in the KHL?
KELLY: Again, if it gets cleared by the club and the league approves then it is a different story. I am not aware that that's happened with respect to Michael Nylander.
Why did you suddenly decide to depart for the KHL?
"The main reason might be because the level of hockey in Russia has noticeably increased in the past several years. Unfortunately, being overseas, I was rarely able to watch any KHL regular season games, but you better believe I always kept up with what was going on. The Continental league which was formed a year ago has done a lot, the game conditions in Russia are good, and it's no coincidence that a lot of well-known players have come from overseas, several of which had leading roles in the NHL. This motivated me to return to Russia."