According to Igor Eronko, Sergei Kostitsyn is close to signing an NHL contract.
It is currently unknown which team Kostitsyn is negotiating with.
The 28-year-old spent the 2014-15 season with Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL, scoring seven goals and 27 points in 49 games.
Originally a seventh-round selection (200th overall) of the Montreal Canadiens, Kostitsyn last played in the NHL during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, scoring three goals and 12 assists with the Nashville Predators.
Kostitsyn was placed on unconditional waivers by the Preds in July 2013 and signed a reported three-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
The 6-foot, 207-pound forward has appeared in 353 NHL games with the Canadiens and Predators scoring 67 goals and 176 points.
To the surprise of few, Sergei Kostitsyn’s time with the Nashville Predators officially ended on Friday, as the Tennessean’s Joshua Cooper reports that his contract was terminated. Sovetsky Sport’s Genadi Boguslavski reports that the winger signed a three-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
This is the second summer in a row that the team decided to part ways with a polarizing European winger who ranked as one of the team’s top scorers. As you may remember, things ended pretty poorly with Alexander Radulov in the 2012 offseason, who also escaped to the KHL.
Kostitsyn, 26, didn’t break curfew like his brother Andrei and Radulov did to get on head coach Barry Trotz’s bad side.
Instead, he saw his numbers drop significantly, although Predators fans will probably remember this moment from March most of all:
When Nashville signed him, there seemed to be two schools of thought: he wouldn’t mix well with Trotz’s worldview or he’d be a steal as a skilled scorer at a low price.
Really, it seems like both sides were right. Kostitsyn tied Martin Erat for the team’s scoring lead in 2010-11 with 50 points and was nicely productive until things went south in 2013. Still, it seemed inevitable that he would fall out of place in Nashville’s grinding system.
With that all in mind, it makes sense that the two sides parted ways. Still, one cannot help but wonder how much the Predators will struggle to score in 2013-14, even with their considerable free agent spending.
One of the most intriguing free agents of the 2013 class is off the market.
Viktor Stalberg, just weeks removed from winning a Stanley Cup with Chicago, has agreed to join Nashville on a four-year, $12 million deal, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The deal is a huge raise for the Swedish winger, who was making $875,000 annually on his last deal.
Stalberg, 27, fell out of head coach Joel Quenneville’s favor during the playoffs and was a healthy scratch four times during the Stanley Cup run – so it was unsurprising to hear he was leaving the ‘Hawks at season’s end.
At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he’s got the size and skating ability — he was one of Chicago’s fastest players — to be a handful for opposing defensemen.
He posted career-highs in goals (22) and points (43) in 2011-12 and, in the shortened 2013 season, still managed to score at a 0.49 points per game clip, pretty close to what he posted the season prior (0.54).
Stalberg will have an average annual cap hit of $3 million in Nashville which, coincidentally, is the same cap hit Sergei Kostitsyn currently carries.
There’s some belief Kostitsyn will bail on the final year of his deal with the Preds to play in the KHL, where he’s been negotiating with Avangard Omsk.