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Yashin Back Without Regrets

With no regrets and no apology to his fans, Alexei Yashin returned to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Senators general manager Marshall Johnston announced the return of his superstar a news conference at the Corel Centre, ending a holdout that began last summer when Yashin demanded that his contract be renegotiated.

Yashin held out for the entire 1999-2000 season and then tried to get an arbitrator to declare him a free agent. The arbitrator rejected that and told Yashin he still owed the Senators a year under his current contract. Yashin's attempt to appeal that decision in court failed last week.

"The arbitrator's decision compelled me to come back and play for Ottawa," said Yashin, who had 44 goals and 50 assists in 1998-99. "I'm here because I can't play hockey anywhere else in the world."

Neither Yashin, nor his agent Mark Gandler, said they regretted the decision to hold out.

"I'm not going to apologize to my fans because, I know a lot of fans still like me and still want to me to play hockey," Yashin said. "I will do my best and we'll see what happens."

Senators majority owner Rod Bryden did not attend the news conference.

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