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As general manager of the Russian women's hockey team, Alexei Yashin doesn't just sit in the stands -- he's on the ice practising ...
with the players. The former Ottawa Senator is overseeing the team at the women's world championship.
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Alexei Yashin is back on the ice in Ottawa.The former Ottawa Senator was recently named general manager of the Russian women's team in order help the country finish on the podium at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.He's overseeing the team at the women's world championships in Ottawa. Yashin doesn't sit in the stands and watch the women practise. He's out on the ice participating in drills and giving the women tips.``I saw the biggest opportunity where I can really help,'' Yashin explains. ``I saw a lot of things I could bring to the table.``These girls, they needed some spark and some attention towards them. I was hoping I could bring certain things that other people can't with some of my experience and connections.''Russia didn't win a game in last year's world championship in Burlington, Vt., but could finish no worse than sixth because they were seeded in the top group.The Russians were seeded in the second group in Ottawa and are 4-0 heading into Monday's semifinal against Canada.The Russian Ice Hockey Federation named Mikhail Chekanov as the women's new coach for this year. But Yashin's appointment is groundbreaking for women's hockey in a country that ignored it until Sochi won the bid to host the Games.``His name brings a lot of attention to our team, especially in Russia,'' forward Iya Gavrilova says. ``We've got more sponsorship coming to the team, we get more attention from the media. People now recognize that they have a women's team in Russia.''``He goes on the ice and he practices with us. He shows his skills and shares a lot of experience. He sees a lot of little things and suggests a lot of things like how to make little plays on the power play and how to play in front of the net.''Russia's stated goal is to win bronze in women's hockey in Sochi.Yashin, 39, played a dozen seasons in the NHL for both the Senators and the Islanders. He also represented Russia at three Winter Olympics. His seasons with the Senators and Islanders were tumultuous.Chosen second overall in the 1992 draft by Ottawa, Yashin helped the Sens win their first playoff series in 1998 with an overtime winner against the New Jersey Devils.