After staying silent about the suspensions given to his brother and Alex Radulov, Sergei Kostitsyn has spoken publicly about the incident.
From Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov, here’s Kostitsyn discussing the situation to Belorussian news outlet Pressball:
“I think the management was too tough on Alexander and Andrei. The punishment for the incident could have been a monetary fine, [they] went too far with the disqualification in the midst of an important stage of the playoffs. We missed the guys in games three and four of the series.”
In light of this, it’ll be interesting to see what Nashville does with the Kostitsyns. There are those that figure Andrei isn’t worth the headache and the Preds would be wise to walk away.
But what about Sergei?
The 24-year-old has enjoyed the best success of his career in Nashville and finished this season with 43 points and 16:28 average TOI, a personal high (he also led the Preds in scoring in 2010-11.) The Kostitsyn-Erat-Fisher line was arguably Nashville’s best throughout this year.
Now, do keep in mind that Kostitsyn’s comments — while questionable — are hardly grounds for divorce. Players have said far worse about their organizations and managed to stick around. And hey, if worst comes to worst, he can always play the “lost in translation” card.
That said, there’s the added acrimony of the whole “you suspended my brother” thing, especially if Sergei thinks the suspension was too harsh.
Related: An interesting tidbit from the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson.
While some suggest that Alex Radulov’s party-boy antics off the ice will be forgotten at contract time and they’ll gladly let Andrei Kostitsyn walk as an unrestricted free-agent, one source says both guys have torched the bridge in Nashville. They figure Craig Smith can take AK47’s (sic) spot. They’ll trade Radulov’s rights. One interesting sidelight: Kostitsyn’s brother wasn’t out on the town with his brother because Martin Erat, Sergei’s linemate was keeping an eye on him.
Erat: Good linemate, better babysitter.