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Sergei Kostitsyn ends time with Preds, signs in KHL

Jul 5, 2013, 9:14 PM EDT

sergeikostitsyngetty Getty Images

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.

  1. bellicosejeff - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Do we struggle to score? Oh hell yeah, however during the 2011-2012 season we were one of the top scoring teams with the #1 (or close to) powerplay. Last season we only lost Suter and Tootoo. Suter obviously hurt the offense. But how does a team with pretty much the same roster that tore it up the year before just DROP off like that? Was 11/12 an anomaly? Or it was the lack of training camp and less/shorter practices? Likely 11/12 was an anomaly haha. One thing I did notice. EVERY player on our team that played in the KHL or other European leagues during the lockout were horrible through the NHL season. For us, not sure about other teams.

    This team has players we drafted that are coming into their own. Sure the guys we picked up today aren’t world beaters, but they should help drive the offense. Keep an eye on Colin Wilson and Gabriel Bourque. They were having very productive (half) seasons before they both ended up on IR. Both still very young players too, with room to improve.

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