Nashville Predators left wing Sergei Kostitisyn was one of 16 NHL players who opted for salary arbitration before the Thursday deadline.
Kostitsyn scored a team-high 23 goals and shared the team lead with 50 points in 2010-11, his first season with Nashville. He followed that with 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) last season.
His 38 goals over the last two seasons are second among Predators forwards to only Patric Hornqvist (48).
The 25-year-old was the only Predators player to pursue that particular route for a contract resolution. Captain Shea Weber, who received a one-year, $7.5 million award last season when the team filed for arbitration, was the most notable of those who had the option but declined.
Kostitsyn filed for arbitration last year as well but agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract weeks before the scheduled hearing. That was a significant increase over his salary ($550,000) for his first season in Nashville.
Once again, the sides have the option to negotiate a new deal before a ruling is made in the case. If not, the Predators either have to pay the arbitrator’s award or walk away from it, which would allow Kostitsyn to become a free agent.
Arbitration hearings will take place from July 20 through Aug. 4.