Sergei Kostitsyn may be on his way to signing Russia, but he isn’t there yet.
That’s what agent Don Meehan explained on Wednesday, saying the Nashville forward — who has one year left on his deal with the Preds — has had talks with KHL Avangard Omsk, but hasn’t put pen to paper.
News of Kostitsyn’s KHL interest broke last week, when Russian news outlet Izvestia.ru ran a Q&A with Avangard’s GM.
In it, he confirmed his club was negotiating with the Belarussian forward and said he’d spoke with Preds GM David Poile, who “would not object” to letting Kostitsyn go.
Q: How are contract negotiations with Belarus striker Sergei Kostitsyn?
A: We offered Sergey contract, he is now under discussion. Every day contact with his agent. I also contact the general manager of “Nashville” by David [Poile]. We talked a few times on this issue and came to the conclusion that “Nashville” would not object to his move to the “Vanguard”.
Now everything depends on the willingness of Sergei, who is considering several proposals. We are actively negotiating with him and are close to having to continue our relationship.
On Monday, Josh Cooper of The Tennessean spoke with Poile, who indicated the Preds were ready to move on.
“I’m talking to [Kostitsyn’s] agent, so I’m not exactly sure how that’s going to play out,” Poile said. “I know he’s had some overtures from there, and we will work this out with Sergei if it’s appropriate.”
Poile then re-iterated what Barry Trotz said following the regular season — that Kostitsyn’s production (three goals in 46 games) simply wasn’t acceptable given his role as a top-six forward and his $3 million annual cap hit.
“With Sergei, three goals — we’re not going to win anything if a guy on your first line scores three goals,” Poile said. “That’s unacceptable.”