Yashin to Islanders
N.Y. gives up Chara, Muckalt and No. 2 pick
Updated: Sunday June 24, 2001 1:55 AM
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Alexei Yashin was the first big-name player traded at this weekend's NHL Draft. He wasn't the last.
Disgruntled with his current contract, Yashin was traded from Ottawa to the New York Islanders for the second pick in the NHL Draft on Saturday. The Senators then selected forward Jason Spezza, the top rated player in North America.
"We've turned the page," Senators general manager Marshall Johnston said. "Alexei was with our franchise, contributed to the early success of our franchise and we wish him the best."
"We feel it's a significant upgrade to our goaltending," Flames general manager Craig Button said. "We felt if we continue to improve in that area, that we're going to move ahead."
The Florida Panthers were one of the busiest teams on the first day of the two-day draft, making four trades.
They traded center Rob Niedermayer and a second-round pick to Calgary for wingers Valeri Bure and Jason Wiemer. The move unites the Bure brothers, Valeri and Pavel, for the first time in their NHL careers.
"We felt that Val, for whatever reason, wasn't comfortable with us," Button said. "It gives him a fresh start and it gives us a fresh start, and we feel that's important for our entire team."
Florida also traded two second-round picks, Nos. 44 and 48, to New Jersey for the Devils' first-round selection. The Panthers then picked Russian defenseman Lukas Krajicek.
The Panthers also sent the rights to unsigned center Jiri Dopita to Philadelphia for the Flyers' second-round pick.
"He seemed to have an aversion to sun, beaches and sand, so we moved him on," Panthers general manager Bill Torrey said.
Dopita was drafted by Boston in 1992 and the New York Islanders in 1998 but couldn't reach financial terms. The Islanders traded his rights to Florida last year for a fifth-round draft pick.
The Panthers also couldn't sign the Czech Elite League star, who did reach a tentative agreement Saturday with the Flyers.
Dopita's agent, Petr Svoboda, said his client's close friendship with Flyers goalie Roman Cechmanek, also a longtime Czech player, played a part in the decision to join the Flyers.
"I've tried since 1992 -- two drafts, three trades -- but this time he's coming," Svoboda said.
Florida's fourth and final move was to swap picks with the Islanders to move up in the third round.
Other moves Saturday included:
Bigger trades could be on the horizon.
Jagr, a five-time scoring champion, has asked to be traded. But general manager Craig Patrick said he doesn't think a deal will get done this weekend.
The Penguins are willing to deal him, though Patrick said he will be patient and wait for the right offer.
Several reports had Lindros, a restricted free agent, being traded to Detroit on Saturday morning, but Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman denied those rumors before the draft.
Peca, a former Buffalo Sabres captain and also a restricted free agent who sat out last season in a contract dispute. He has demanded to be traded.
Yashin, 27, can become a restricted free agent July 1. The Russian made dlrs 3.6 million last season and is looking to sign a dlrs 8-million contract for next year.
He sat out the entire 1999-2000 season because he felt he was underpaid in the final year of his contract. He returned to Ottawa to play this past season and became the player fans everywhere loved to hate.
The Islanders, who haven't made the playoffs since 1992-93, think they got an impact player in the trade.
"We've got so many draft picks in our stable of young players and it's time for us to advance the cause," Islanders general manager Mike Milbury said. "We're thrilled he's going to be part of our organization. A premium first-line center is hard to come by."