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Yashin was a highly skilled forward, scoring many goals and assists throughout his career, who made many NHL headlines for the wrong reasons. He tried to have his contract renegotiated three times in five years when he played with the Senators. He sat out the 1998-99 season over a contract dispute. He became the first Russian to be the full-time captain of an NHL team. He spent 12 seasons in NHL and moved back to Russia in 2007 after being bought out of the Islanders contract, where he continued his career. Even after retirement in 2012, he was still being paid by Islanders until 2015. In December 2012, he was appointed to the post of general manager of the Russian National Women's Team.
On the international stage, the former first rounder is a two-time member of Russia's Olympic team (1998 and 2002), a seven-time member of its World Championship team (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2005), two-time member of its World Junior team (1992, 1993) and a two-time member of its World Cup team.
Brother: Dmitry Yashin