UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Alexei Yashin agreed to the biggest contract package in NHL history yesterday, a 10-year deal with the New York Islanders worth nearly $90 million.

Paul Wong
Alexi Yashin hit the bank yesterday. His $90 million contract is tops in the NHL.<br><br>AP PHOTO

The 27-year-old Russian center had given up millions by sitting out an NHL season in Ottawa.

“It”s a privilege for me to know that I will be spending the rest of my career on Long Island,” he said at a news conference.

The deal eclipses the one the Colorado Avalanche gave Joe Sakic in July five years, $50.5-million. The Avalanche have an option for a sixth year that would increase the package to $57 million.

Washington”s Jaromir Jagr will make $20.7 million over the next two seasons, making him the highest-paid player by annual salary.

Yashin, who earned $3.6 million last season with Ottawa, will report to training camp Tuesday in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“To add a player of Alexei”s caliber means great things for this hockey club,” general manager Mike Milbury said.

Yashin had 40 goals and 48 assists with the Senators last season. He managed only one assist as Toronto swept Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs. He sat out the previous year after Ottawa declined to give him a lucrative pay increase. In 1998-99, he scored 44 goals and had 50 points and was a finalist for the league”s MVP award.

The 6-foot-3 center has proved durable. He did not miss a game in any of his last four seasons. Ottawa traded Yashin for the No. 2 entry draft pick and selected teen-ager Jason Spezza.

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