Posted April 07, 2013 on AP on Fox
Former Ottawa Senators star Alexei Yashin is back in Canada's capital city, this time as a hockey executive with Russia's women's hockey team. Yashin was recently named general manager of the club in an attempt to help his home country's chances of earning a medal at next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He is now overseeing the team at the women's world championships in Ottawa. Yashin doesn't sit in the stands and watch practice, he instead is out on the ice participating in drills and giving the women tips. ''I saw the biggest opportunity where I can really help,'' Yashin said. ''I saw a lot of things I could bring to the table. ''These girls, they needed some spark and some attention toward them. I was hoping I could bring certain things that other people can't with some of my experience and connections.'' Russia didn't win a game in last year's world championship in Burlington, Vt., but could finish no worse than sixth because they were seeded in the top group. The Russians were seeded in the second group in Ottawa and are 4-0 heading into Monday's semifinal against Canada. The stated goal is to win bronze in women's hockey in Sochi. ''When a proven NHL pro steps on the ice, just even watching him and his body language and how he moves can even help the players improve and also gives them confidence,'' Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser said. ''I know that in Russia, in a lot of cases, they think women should not be playing hockey, so for a player like that to step up and say, `Hey, I believe in this team and this program' that says a lot for those women and gives them a lot to go on.'' The Russian Ice Hockey Federation named Mikhail Chekanov as the women's new coach for this year. But Yashin's appointment is groundbreaking for women's hockey in a country that ignored it until Sochi won the bid to host the Olympics. ''His name brings a lot of attention to our team, especially in Russia,'' forward Iya Gavrilova says. ''We've got more sponsorship coming to the team, we get more attention from the media. People now recognize that they have a women's team in Russia.'' ''He goes on the ice and he practices with us. He shows his skills and shares a lot of experience. He sees a lot of little things and suggests a lot of things like how to make little plays on the power play and how to play in front of the net.'' Yashin, 39, played a dozen seasons in the NHL for the Senators and the New York Islanders. He also represented Russia at three Olympics. Chosen No. 2 overall in the 1992 NHL draft by Ottawa, Yashin helped the Senators win their first playoff series in 1998. He scored 94 points for Ottawa in the 1998-99 season and was an MVP finalist that year, but sat out the following season in a contract dispute. ''A lot of people remember me from when I was playing here, so it's very good,'' Yashin says. ''They're very receptive.'' ''It's part of my life. I was here for eight years. It's been a great experience.'' The Senators dealt him in 2001 to the Islanders, who signed him to what was then an astounding 10-year, $87.5 million contract. The Islanders never made it out of the first round during his five seasons there. After a knee injury abbreviated his 2006-07 season, the Islanders bought out his contract even though there were several years remaining on it. Yashin played five seasons in Russia and his last with CKSA Moscow in 2011-12.

Isles bop Bolts, control destiny

The New York Islanders are in a place they haven't been in quite a while -- holding their playoff chances in their own hands. Matt Martin scored the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes left, and Evgeni Nabokov was sharp in goal Saturday night to lift the Islanders past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2. The Islanders remained in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, tied...

Lightning rally before falling to Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Matt Martin scored the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes left in the third period and Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves to lift the playoff-hopeful New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Islanders started the night in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and kept pace in their drive for their first postseason...

Islanders 4, Lightning 2

Matt Martin scored the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes left in the third period and Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves to lift the playoff-hopeful New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Islanders remained in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, tied with the New York Rangers, who hold the tiebreaker for seventh. Both teams...

Lightning fall to the Islanders 4-2

The Lightning were coming off a string of games where they were applying offensive pressure consistently. That was not the case Saturday night as they could not get much going offensively against the New York Islanders. Ben Bishop allowed three goals off 24 shots faced in the game. As a team the Bolts were outshot 28-21. Tampa Bay trailed 1-0 after the first period. They would tie...

Flyers-Islanders Preview

New York and Philadelphia are in unfamiliar territory as the end of the regular season approaches, with the Islanders in position to earn their first trip to the playoffs since 2007 and the Flyers trying to avoid their first postseason absence since that same year. One thing that has remained the same, though, is the Flyers' dominance in this series. Philadelphia looks to win...

Islanders Pull Off Another Big Win vs. Tampa by   Jesse Dakss

The Islanders are really pulling it together. A 4-2 win vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning last night put them at 3 games over NHL .500 for the first time this season. That’s a great sign– they’re going places that they have failed to go time and time again. It isn’t just the fact that they’re [...]

Tuesday News & Notes -- Erik Karlsson Skates Again

Now’s not the time to pani…. OH MY GOD THE SENATORS HAVE LOST FOUR GAMES IN A ROW!!!! Of course the ensuing outpouring of sensationalistic drivel that flows naturally in any hockey mad city. Sports radio exploits it and in many cases, encourages it. blogs, forums, and Twitter thrive on the discussion and dialogue. Everyone either wants to know what’s wrong with the...

Travis Yost: Grip City

Make sure to follow Travis on Twitter! -- A daunting seven-game road-trip late in the Ottawa Senators schedule was expected to provide a challenge of sorts for Paul MacLean's team. So far, it's been all bad. Ottawa's latest debacle came down in Florida, losing to an undermanned Panthers team playing on the second-half of a back-to-back. Back-up goaltender Scott...

Senators-Panthers Preview

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean called this meeting with the Florida Panthers a "must win." His team doesn't usually have much trouble winning against them anyway. The Senators look to continue their dominance of the last-place Panthers in order to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season. Ottawa (19-12-6) has lost three in a row in regulation for the first...

Video- Scott Clemmenssen Is A Candidate For Save Of The Night

Acrobatic toe-save by Clemmenssen as the Florida Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1.  The Senators had a 41-17 advantage in shots for the game.  
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.