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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
The New York Islanders will buyout the remaining four seasons of Alexei Yashin's contract. This ends the Islanders six year relationship with Yashin, who in 346 games with the Islanders scored 119 goals and recorded 171 assists for 290 points.

"This decision was one of the hardest I have ever had to make" said Islanders owner Charles Wang. "The organization holds Alexei in the highest regard – as a player, as a teammate and as a person. He was part of the revival of the franchise at a time when we had not qualified for the playoffs for eight seasons. All of us at the Islanders wish Alexei nothing but the best as he continues his career."

Added Alexei Yashin: "The Islanders have treated me with the utmost respect. I've always believed in the vision Charles Wang has for the organization and although I won't be a part of it, I believe that the team is headed in the right direction. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life."

His best season with the team came in 2001-02 when he scored 32 goals and 43 assists for 75 points in 78 games. Last season, Yashin missed 24 games with a knee injury. He recorded 18 goals and 32 assists for 50 points in 58 games.

"From my time knowing Alexei as a teammate and as a general manager, I have learned that Alexei is nothing but a first-class individual," said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. "With him on the team, the Islanders made the playoffs four out of last five seasons and I believe that we would not have been able to do that without him. And we thank him for his contributions."

Added Islanders Head Coach Ted Nolan: "Alexei has always been a professional on and off the ice and this was not something that was easily decided. I believe this is in the best interests of the team and player in mind. Alexei will have an opportunity to pursue a fresh start and we'll look at options to fill his position."
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