Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Agent Is Code For Comedian

I understand the job that a player's agent is supposed to be. He is supposed to represent the player's best interests in the negotiation of a contract with a team. Essentially, he is the stand-in for the player so the player can focus on more important things like the game, his talent level, promotional events, charity dinners and other similar things. It comes across as overly hilarious when an agent is blind to the downfalls of his client. In particular, I am wondering if Mark Gandler, pictured to the left, has ever seen Alexei Yashin, his client, play a game in the NHL.

According to Gandler, the contract offers rolling in for Alexei Yashin are "disappointing".

"We are still talking to some teams. So far the offers we have received we are not happy with," Gandler said in an interview with CKNW Radio in Vancouver. "If we are not going to get what we are looking for than he (Yashin) will definitely go to Russia."

Is that some sort of threat? He'll "definitely go to Russia"? All of the GMs that have tabled an offer to Alexei Yashin should be told to pull their offers. Let Yashin go back to Russia and play out the rest of his career there. All he did here was rob owners of money here in North America.

Gandler went on to qualify his statement, although this is where the comedy real starts to take form.

"I think that what's making an impression on the teams is the fact that he received this huge buyout," Gandler commented. "I don't know what else is weighing on them."

Gandler added that he was looking to get near market value for Yashin and wouldn't take a fraction of the market value salary just because Yashin was bought out by the New York Islanders.

I don't think I've heard a funnier line yet in this off-season. Since being traded by the Ottawa Senators to the New York Islanders in the 2001-02 season, Yashin has (1) not scored more than 32 goals in one season, (2) not scored more than 75 points in one season , (3) not led the Islanders out of the first round of the playoffs in any season, and (4) pocketed $70 million of Charles Wang's money for 119 goals and 171 assists in 346 games.

If I'm Mark Gandler, I might just be the greatest used car salesman that has ever walked the Earth if a general manager signs Yashin for his "market value". Right now, if I were a GM, I'd say his market value is that of a decent second-line player. And that's only when Yashin is motivated.

The guy sleepwalks through seasons at a time. He disappears altogether when the game is on the line. In 48 career playoff games, he's scored 11 goals and chalked up 16 assists. Those are not the gaudy totals of a Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, or Wayne Gretzky. Hell, at this point, John Druce has more career playoff goals in one playoff year than Yashin does in his entire career.

Here's some more market value. In two playoff seasons, 1998-99 and 2006-07, he went scoreless. In two other playoff seasons, 2000-01 and 2003-04, he scored a whopping total of one point in each playoff year. Ironically, his best playoff year statistically came in 2004-05 when he played for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv in Russia where he posted ten points in nine games. He has not scored ten points in any playoff year in the NHL to date.

Mark Gandler is living in a fantasy world if he thinks he's going to get any more than $3 million per season for Yashin. Unless Yashin can prove that his laisser-faire demeanor and magic act of turning invisible are gone, he's a waste of a roster spot in the NHL. In fact, at this point in his career, he's a waste of a roster spot in the AHL.

Honestly, good riddance to bad rubbish. Let Yashin go home. He hasn't done anything of note in North America except bitch, whine and moan. And, quite frankly, I'm tired of listening to a guy who has stolen $100 million dollars in his career bitch and whine and moan about not being paid enough.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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