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Yashin to play in Senators' game Friday

Alexei Yashin will return to the ice Friday night in the Senators' preseason opener against the Panthers in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Yashin returned to the Senators last week after he sat out last season in a contract dispute. An arbitrator ruled in June that Yashin still owed the team the one remaining year of his contract.

A three-time 30-goal scorer, Yashin was runner-up for the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1998-99 after scoring a career-high 44 goals. But the Russian had a miserable playoff performance, going pointless in four games as the Senators were swept by Buffalo.

After the playoffs, Yashin demanded a new contract making him one of the highest paid players in the league.

When the Senators refused, Yashin chose to walk away from the final year of a contract at $3.6-million.

Upon his return to the team Saturday, Yashin offered no apologies and said his fans still wanted him to play.

DEVILS: The agent for restricted free agents Jason Arnott and Scott Niedermayer said general manager Lou Lamoriello made his final offers to both players. The two-year, $5.1-million offer to Arnott and the three-year, $10.8-million offer to Niedermayer are millions less than the veteran members of the defending Stanley Cup champions are seeking, said agent Don Meehan, who refused to speculate about what decision either player would make. "I don't think it's appropriate to talk about those things," Lamoriello said.

FLYERS: Rookie goalie Maxime Ouellet signed a three-year deal. Ouellet, 19, replaces John Vanbiesbrouck, who was traded to the Islanders in June. Terms of the deal were not announced.

ISLANDERS: Gary Galley, a free-agent defenseman who spent the past two seasons with Los Angeles, signed with New York. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but newspaper reports put the deal at $850,000 for one year with an option year for $1.1-million. The Islanders approached the 37-year-old defenseman when they were unable to reach an agreement with restricted free-agent defenseman Zdeno Chara. When Chara signed, Islanders owner Charles Wang kept the offer to Galley on the table. Galley had nine goals and 21 assists in 70 games last season.

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