2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators roll the dice with Sergei Kostitsyn

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sergeikostit.jpgWhen the Kostitsyn brothers (sort of) burst onto the scene, Andrei was considered the better finisher/generally more talented of the two but Sergei was the “fast” one. Either way, it seemed like the two had a chance to be a solid sibling set for the Montreal Canadiens.

As you may know, things fell apart for both of them, but Sergei in particular struggled with the Habs. He bounced around the big squad and the AHL while rumors circulated and his attitude was in question. The Canadiens traded Sergei in exchange for negotiating rights to Dan Ellis recently, ending what had become an increasingly ugly relationship.

The Belarus product is flawed for sure – he’s not known for having much interest in defense and rarely does much away from the puck – but the Nashville Predators are taking a chance on Kostitsyn redeeming himself in a new environment. The team signed him to a one-year, $550K contract today. I think On the Forecheck’s Dirk Hoag assessment hits the nail on the head.

So the Preds sign Sergei Kostitsyn to a one-year deal… He’s the NHL equivalent of a $550K lottery ticket.

That sounds about right, although in NHL terms, that’s a fairly cheap ticket. It’s been a rocky few years for Sergei Kostitsyn, but you never know. The shifty winger could be this year’s Maxim Afinogenov.

(Then again, Afinogenov is still looking for a contract, so maybe he’s not the best role model to have.)