Adam is in Columbus covering the draft, so in his absence several THN staffers have stepped up to answer your questions. Adam will be back next week.
As an Islanders fan, I felt grateful that they bought out Yashin from his contract. Could you tell me what will the cap hit be in the next eight seasons? Somebody told me that cap hit on a bought out contract is the original cap hit - buyout savings.
Also, now the Islanders let Yashin go, what are the Islanders chances of re-signing Ryan Smyth this summer? I will be looking forward to hear back from you.
Steve Chong, Burnaby, B.C.
Nice province you got there. Thanks for reading and taking the time to write in.
According to our sources, Yashin's cap hit on the Islanders' payroll is $2.204 million per season for the next eight seasons. (Not bad work if you can get it.)
I think the Isles definitely improved their chances of re-signing Smyth by dumping Yashin. However, Smyth might be the most sought-after UFA on the market and I think he's gonna get some outlandish offers.
But you never know...maybe Wang has another 15-year contract up his sleeve...
- Sam McCaig, senior copy editor
Will any team in the NHL take a chance on signing Yashin? My opinion is that any team that signs him would be making a giant mistake. I believe his NHL career is finished, unless he signs a contract for next to nothing. (And we know that's not going to happen). I say this because Yashin has not accomplished anything since being in the NHL, supposedly loads of talent, but he has done nothing. I would rate Yashin right behind A. Daigle as the (2) biggest flaps in the last 15 years. I think his future hockey career lies in the Russian Hockey League.
Thanks, Fred B.
I would be shocked if any team takes a flyer on this dud. In 12 seasons, this once highly-regarded center has proven, if nothing else, it has always been about the money for him.
And now that he has millions coming his way from the Islanders to not play for them, it is hard to imagine he'd be motivated to continue playing. Islanders coach Ted Nolan bent over backwards last season to make Yashin an important part of the team, but in the end even he grew tired of Yashin's act.
There is no denying Yashin has talent, but his lack of desire and inability to translate skill into success only makes him a distraction to his teammates. My guess is he is done.
- Mike Brophy, senior writer
Rumor has it the Blackhawks will look to making Patrick Kane the No. 1 pick in the draft. Supposedly other people have said while he would be the right pick to pay immediate dividends, Kyle Turris is the one with the best upside. Watching the Blackhawks re-gain their way to respectability is almost like trying to win the Boston Marathon while running on a hamster wheel, however, I would rather sit painfully for a few more years if it means waiting to get the better player. I would appreciate your take on the two players.
Thank you, Bob Fogarty
The consensus among scouts is Kane is probably the safest pick to go in the No. 1 slot. He's skilled, creative and there's almost no chance he won't go on to at least a decent NHL career.
A faction of scouts believe Turris has the better upside, but with Turris there's also a greater risk he won't be able to translate his skills to the NHL level, meaning he might max out on the third or fourth line the way 1999 first overall pick Patrik Stefan did.
With Kane, even his downside is as a second-liner, which is better than Turris' downside.
So the best pick for the Hawks is to take Kane first overall and give him the opportunity to dazzle (perhaps a year down the road).
For Chicago to take Turris first overall, they might wind up with the best player in the draft 10 years from now if things work out, or just a serviceable player if things don't. And Turris will need at least two years before making the NHL.
- Brian Costello, senior special sections editor
I was just wondering what kinds of off-season moves that you think would most benefit the Wild and how they should handle the goaltending situation now that they have locked Backstrom in for the next two years. Also, if Manny was to get moved anywhere, what kind of value does he have and who would be the biggest bidders right now? Thank you.
Sincerely, Sean Parkin, Princeton, MN
The first thing to note is Doug Risebrough certainly isn't going to package Manny Fernandez into a gift basket and hand him to another GM. As much as he'll be glad to rid himself of Fernandez's $4.3-million cap hit, Risebrough is going to demand fair value Â– or something very close to it Â– for his former No. 1.
I would rate Fernandez second among potential unrestricted free agent goalies behind San Jose's odd man out, Vesa Toskala.
As for teams that might be in the market for a puckstopper, I think (to some degree) Florida, Toronto, Columbus, Phoenix and Tampa could all be kicking tires.
Minnesota, as I'm sure you're aware, was No. 1 in goals against, but No. 19 in goals for this year. Goal-scorers anyone?
Also, given the fact they dealt Patrick O'Sullivan to the Kings for Pavol Demitra last year, the Wild might look at flipping Fernandez for a prospect or two with an eye on the future.
- Ryan Dixon, copy editor
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