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DiPietro open to Yashin return

 Fans may not be thrilled, but goaltender Rick DiPietro said he would welcome back former teammate Alexei Yashin if he were to return to the Islanders.

Newsday reported Monday that both the Islanders and Yashin's agent, Mark Gandler, had discussed a potential return for the 37-year-old center. The team bought out the last four years of his contract for $17.63 million back in 2007.

"I like Yash; we got along well. At this stage, we'd be open to whoever helps our team get to the next level," DiPietro said during the rally for a new Coliseum Wednesday.

The two played together with the Islanders from 2002-07.

"Yash is a great guy," DiPietro said. "We played against him too when he was in Ottawa and he ate us up. He was an NHL superstar and from what I've heard, he's been playing pretty well in Russia."

In an email to Newsday Tuesday, Yashin's agent Mark Gandler said there is nothing new to report on the discussion between the two camps. GM Garth Snow declined to comment.

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