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Author: Igor Larin (Sport-Express Newspaper)
Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko
Date: 07/21/2007
Alexei Yashin: I am flying home for the gold

2007 Russian Super LeagueAlexei Yashin should once again be given the credit he deserves. A month ago, right after the buyout of his contract by the Islanders, he promised that in the case of anything happening, he would tell about it to Sport Express first. And yesterday, after signing all the documents in New York, he answered all our questions.

A. Yashin: The contract with Yaroslavl was finally fully negotiated during the night between Thursday and Friday and was signed for one season.

Is this contract a full one or an insurance one?
A. Yashin: To be honest, I donít know what is an insurance contract. We agreed about the following: the entire next season I spend in Yaroslavl. I intend to fulfill this contract.

According to information of Sport Express, there were two or three Super League clubs that were competing for your services. Why did you choose Lokomotiv?
A. Yashin: During the lockout I played in Yaroslavl and I really liked this club Ė with the management and set up of the operations, as well as the atmosphere. Since then I have considered that place my second hockey home after Yekaterinburg, where I was born. I am looking forward to spending time with my old acquaintances Ė Ivan Tkachenko (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ulanov, Krasotkin, Vlasenkov and other players. I have heard a lot about the young goalie Semen Varlamov (Washington Capitals) and according to my information, he is staying with the club.

According to our information, the offers that came from other clubs were at least as good as the one that came from Yaroslavl. Is this true?
A. Yashin: Possibly, but I will say it again, we considered all the factors Ė the human, hockey and finance related ones. In the end, we chose Lokomotiv.

What is your goal for next season?
A. Yashin: The club with such traditions as Lokomotiv must compete for the gold. I donít want to, as they say, put unnecessary pressure early, but I am putting a goal in front of me to help Yaroslavl to come back to the top.

Are you familiar with Lokomotivís North American coach Paul Gartner?
A. Yashin: I have heard about his offensive style of hockey, but in the NHL I did not cross paths with him.

Do you also intend to return into the Russian national team? Did any negative feelings remain after you did not even receive a phone call from the national team during the spring training camp prior to the 2007 World Championships in Moscow?
A. Yashin: I donít want to think too much about the past. I donít think about the national team yet. Right now the most important thing is the club. In any case you know that I have never declined to play for the national team and I donít plan to do it in the future.

Many were surprised by your club selection. Why not NHL?
A. Yashin: I did have a good number of options in North America. Some were actually quite interesting. But we all in the family weighted all the factors and decided to return to Russia.

When should we expect you in Moscow?
A. Yashin: I donít yet have plane ticket, so I canít give you a date, but possibly already this Sunday I will be in Moscow and on Monday will start work in Yarosalvl.

Related Player Profiles: . I.Tkachenko S.Varlamov A.Yashin
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