(Photo by: Chris Humphreys/USA Today Sports)
Sergei Kostitsyn may play in the Kontinental Hockey League next season. A source close to Avangard Omsk told RIA Novosti that they are pushing hard for the return of Kostitsyn. During the 2012 NHL Lockout, the Novopolotsk, Belarus native played in 27 games for Avangard where he scored 28 points (9g, 19a).
On Thursday, it was reported Sergei's brother, Andrei, re-signed a one-year deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL.
If Kostitsyn, 26, was to walk away and leave the Nashville Predators this summer, he would still have one year remaining. Likely if the situation befell on David Poile, he would buy it out.
Here is an excerpt from the article.
The Avangard source said the Siberian team wanted to sign Kostitsyn to revive his combination on the same line as Alexander Frolov and Dmitry Semin, a prolific partnership during the lockout.
Let's go back to October when Kostitsyn said, "Let’s put it this way–it would be better (for the players) if the lockout continues. Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost – let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season.
"I couldn't get used to (American) mentality. They are totally different people from us."
Certainly many Predators fans are hoping this article is true and not some fluff coming in from the other side of the world. Kostitsyn was a top-line forward the past two seasons, but didn't play top-line quality consistently.
Last season, Kostitsyn scored only three goals in 46 games.
His biggest gaffe came on March 17 in Edmonton when he quit on a play that led to a goal. It was something I have never seen before at any level in hockey. SK74's miscue led to a benching the following game after Barry Trotz had harsh words to say about his compete level before their following game.
Constantly, the coaching staff has been trying to make Kostitsyn shoot the puck more. He has a wicked wrister that can snipe goaltenders. Unfortunately, he passes up golden scoring chances by passing the puck to a teammate in a worse scoring position. Kostitsyn is the only player I know who would pass up a shot alone in the slot and give the puck to a player beside the net.
So, if Kostitsyn was to end up leaving Nashville to go to Russia, it would be an addition by subtraction situation. Surely the number four overall pick will replace him well.