Almost every team in the NHL is taking some kind of gamble on a “wild card” or “X-factor” player. Sometimes they’re solid veterans who could make the most of a plum job (see: Mike Comrie in Pittsburgh) or enigmatic talents whose decisions will leave just as many people guessing as their skills (example: Nikolai Zherdev in Columbus).
For the Nashville Predators, that “wild card” player is wayward former Montreal Canadiens prospect Sergei Kostitsyn (the speedy one of the Kostitysn brothers). He seems to have the potential to produce a Maxim Afinogenov-type underrated season, but he won’t be able to get off to a quick start if reports are correct.
It’s unclear how long the toe injury will hamper Kostitsyn, but considering the fact that speed is one of his greatest assets on the ice, you have to think that Nashville might hesitate to rush him back too quickly. It’s a tough break for a player who dealt with a lot of problems the last few years, whether those wounds were self-inflicted or not.