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Senators Want Yashin To Pay

Ottawa Senators owner Rod Bryden wants Alexei Yashin to pay the team $930,000 for sitting out last season.

The Senators have asked Bill Daly, the NHL's executive vice president and chief legal officer, to proceed with a lawsuit seeking damages from Yashin, NHL spokesman Frank Brown said Friday.

Bryden told the Ottawa Sun that he wants to continue with the unprecedented suit because Yashin's absence from the lineup cost the club a chance to make it to the second round of the playoffs.

Even though Buffalo eliminated the Senators in the first round the previous year - when the team had Yashin in the lineup - Bryden believes not having the former All-Star cost the club financially.

Bryden was originally seeking $7 million from Yashin, but he dropped the figure when arbitrator Lawrence Holden ruled the club's leading scorer in 1998-99 owed the team another year.

Only Bryden can authorize the NHL to drop the suit.

Yashin, 26, agreed to honor the final year of his deal this month after an Ontario court judge ruled he couldn't become a restricted free agent until he completed the contract.

A hearing was supposed to be held Friday in New York to discuss the damages, but the players' union first wants a ruling on whether Holden has jurisdiction to award damages.

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