|Kostitsyn had 16 goals and 20 assists last season. (Getty Images)|
The Nashville Predators have already established that Alexander Radulov won't be back next season after they fought to bring him onboard last season. Now we can say that Andrei Kostitsyn is joining Rads on his way out the door.
Predators GM David Poile made the declaration in an interview with the team site in another transparent move from a GM, something that we don't see too often.
"Andrei Kostitsyn is not going to be back and now Rad is not going to be back, but I'm very comfortable with who we have and who we have coming up. In my mind arguably we're coming back with our top two lines -- Kostitsyn-Fisher-Erat was arguably our top line all year and Wilson-Legwand-Hornqvist was our second line for large parts of the year."
This is another move that isn't exactly coming out of left field here. One of the reasons why Kostitsyn was available at the trade deadline was because he was a pending unrestricted free agent, seen as a rental player for his suitors that might be looking to get a little better for the playoffs.
Then there is the whole angle of Kostitsyn and Radulov being partners in crime for that infamous night in Scottsdale, Arizona back in the second round of their playoff series with the Coyotes. The two of them were then put into the doghouse of coach Barry Trotz and fans all over Nashville as they were suspended for Game 3 and then scratched for Game 4.
I wonder how much of a market there will be for Kostitsyn this summer. The words "underachieving" and "disappointment" seem to come up a bit around him and then there is the stigma of this situation, which could linger further. At the least, there likely won't be teams backing up the trucks of money to his doorstep in the NHL.
It makes you think maybe he will be one of the next guys to jump ship to the KHL, possibly along with Radulov.
The entire interview from Poile is a little enlightening as he discusses a little more specifically why the Preds are parting ways with Radulov and then when lies ahead for them. What there was no update on, though, was the ongoing situation with Ryan Suter. Whether or not it's in the plans, letting these two guys walk away at least presumably frees up a little more money on the payroll.