Montreal Canadiens: Andrei Kostitsyn Worth The Chance


Montreal Canadiens: Andrei Kostitsyn Worth The Chance

After spending the last 3 years overseas in the KHL, former Habs forward Andrei Kostitsyn wants to return to the NHL. Kostitsyn spent 5 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. as well as 2 others in Hamilton while being called up at times.

In his 7 seasons total, Andrei Kostitsyn scored 99 goals in 379 games for the Habs. He also played 19 games for the Nashville Predators, scoring 4. That makes for 103 goals in 398 NHL games. He scores a goal every 4 games which means he averages 21 goals over a full season.

During his time in the KHL, he seemed to be scoring at the same pace, although his numbers are significantly lower as he averaged 13 goals per season. His goals-per-game rate is at .263 goals per game (39 goals in 148 games) which is slightly higher than the .258 he got in the NHL.

Even with a few years removed from the NHL, he could prove to be a good depth signing for teams seeking secondary scoring at a bargain price.

Taking A Chance: The Positives

The Habs had a very rough season when it came to scoring, and will be looking to add a proven scorer to their lineup this summer. Although Kostitsyn was very inconsistent throughout his career in the NHL, he did prove he can score goals. If the Habs do decide to take a chance on him, it could prove to be a smart depth move. It will likely not cost an arm and a leg either.

Another reason why he could fit is that he is big and plays a physical game, which is beneficial to the way Michel Therrien wants his team to play. He could be a reliable 2nd- or 3rd-liner if he doesn’t allow his ego to get in the way.

Kostitsyn used to have great chemistry with Lars Eller; putting them together could recreate that and provide Eller with a good winger. These two could become a good offensive duo in a middle-six role.

Another reason that taking a chance on Andrei isn’t such a bad idea is that now he won’t have his younger brother Sergei as a distraction. This could make a difference; it seemed the first time around, Sergei got in his older brother’s way.

There are many positives to his game but there are also a lot of negatives as well.

Taking A Chance: The Negatives

First, as mentioned, there is his inconsistency. Andrei Kostitsyn could easily have been the best player on the ice one night, disappear for three games, and then play another amazing game. He did this constantly throughout his time with the Habs,  especially when he got that pay raise in the 2008-09 season.

After that, Andrei seemed to be the type of guy that played for the money and couldn’t care less about the actual game.

This says a lot about the poor attitude he had during his time in the NHL.  One of his biggest problems was that he loved to party while he was here. However he was young and careless back then.  It will still be risky to take a chance on him because he hasn’t proven that his attitude has changed.

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What should be done:

The Habs – or another team – should invite Andrei Kostitsyn to training camp in September and see if he deserves a spot on an NHL roster. Not only should his skill be tested but his work ethic as well.  This is Andrei’s last chance to save his career.  However, it should be done as a low-risk/high reward situation.

Let’s just hope that if Habs in fact do take a chance, that AK46 grew out of the partying stage of his life as he still has some skill left to show.