Forward Sergei Kostitsyn, who was acquired eight days earlier in a trade with Montreal, signed a one-year contract with the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
Kostitsyn was a restricted free agent based on the fact that the Canadiens made him a qualifying offer before he was dealt. That offer was a two-way pact with an NHL salary of $550,000 and a minor league salary of $62,500.
The Predators agreed to an NHL-only salary at the same $550,000.
“He believes he’s a much better player than what he’s accomplished to this point,” general manager David Poile said. “This is a situation where he thinks a fresh start and a new opportunity can make a big difference. We said we would provide that for him.”
Kostitsyn, 23, has appeared in 155 NHL contests over the past three seasons. His point total has dropped each season to 18 (seven goals, 11 assists) last season in a career-low 47 appearances.
He also played 54 games, including in 2009-10, in the American Hockey League over that span.
“He’s a very quick player … a good offensive player,” Poile said. “That is not necessarily reflected in his (NHL) numbers. We could certainly use that.”
Nashville acquired Kostitsyn from Montreal in exchange for goalie Dan Ellis and center Dustin Boyd on June 29, two days before Ellis and Boyd were scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
The Canadiens failed to sign Ellis, who agreed to a two-year deal with Tampa Bay on the first day of free agency, but kept Boyd when they came to terms on a one-year, $650,000 pact.