Canadiens sign AK46

Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette

Andrei Kostitsyn, the team’s first-round draft choice in 2003, has signed a one-year deal with the club.

Kostitsyn will be paid $3.25 million, which is what he made last season in the final year of a three-year contract. He was due to become a Restricted Free Agent July 1.

The signing gives the Canadiens 11 players under contract for 2011-’12 for a total cap hit of $39.6 million. Pierre Gauthier has about $19.75 million in cap space.

AK46 will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Kostitsyn’s agent is Don Meehan, who also represents recent signing Alexei Yemelin and Andrei Markov, who will be an Unrestricted Free Agent if he is not signed by July 1.

Last month, Arpon Basu made a case for re-signing AK46.

Steven Hindle’s take

The team announcement:

Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier announced Thursday the signing of forward Andrei Kostitsyn for the 2011-12 season. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Andrei Kostitsyn is an important part of our group of forwards, and we are happy to have agreed to a contract extension with him. As a player drafted and developed by the Canadiens organization, Andrei ranks year after year amongst our point leaders,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.

In 2010-11, Kostitsyn, 26, ranked fourth on the team in scoring and third in goals, with 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) in 81 regular season games. He served 36 penalty minutes while averaging 15:53 minutes of ice time per game. Kostitsyn ranked tied for first on the team with six game winning goals, first with 140 hits, third with five powerplay goals and fourth with 196 shots on goal. He added two goals in six playoff contests.

Born in Novopolotsk, Belarus, Kostitsyn will enter his seventh season in the Canadiens’ organization in the fall. The 6’0” and 213 lbs forward has recorded 186 points (87 goals and 99 assists), 155 penalty minutes and a +16 plus/minus ratio in 326 NHL career games, all with the Canadiens. He has registered 19 points (11 goals, 8 assists) in 41 playoff contests.

Kostitsyn was the Canadiens’ first round selection, 10th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He signed a three-year contract with the Canadiens on July 2, 2008.

Maybe we’ll see more of this:

Or this:


  1. ZepFan2 says:

    Testing, again….

    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Head-shots League.

  2. 44har48 says:

    He gets one more chance to prove he is the big scoring forward we have been waiting for. I look for him to be even better next year in year 2 without his Brother’s drama.

    Another thing alot of detractors did not notice about AK this year. He started on a pretty good tear, looked really sharp and of course you can’t deny this guy has one of the best shots in the game much less on our team. He was two way, and you saw that when he was a +13 on 1/22/11. At that point he also had 28 points in 38 games – underachieving for him still, but moving in the right direction. Enter Scott Gomez and JM trying to do anything to get him to be at least a figmant of an NHL player. Yup, AK gets put with Gomez at this point, and in the next 15 games up to 3/1/11, he goes a -9. It ruined his momentum, his rythm and a good season he had going. After starting 28 in 38, he got put with Gomez and ended up going 17 pts in the last 43 games, not to mention the +13 he was building on, ended up +3.

    A case can be made that real stars make the players around them better, but I don’t beleive AK is that type of player. His size and shot make him a great compliment, and if put with teh right linemates, will flourish in this league.

    Just my observations and two cents.

  3. SmartDog says:

    I like AK but I don’t quite get the term of this contract.

    So he gets a 1 year deal after which he’s a UFA. Which in theory is supposed to give him incentive to prove himself. But he doesn’t work that way – we saw it last year.

    So… if he has a mediocre year we can get him back but probably won’t want to. And if he DOES have a good year he hits the free market and in all probability we’ve lost him to someone who is looking more at the last year than his inconsistency (which will keep us from paying him the big bucks, even if he might be worth it).

    While PG has made some good trades (and some horrible ones), I don’t think he is very good at timing and terms. We ship young guys out for nothing, when we don’t really know their potential, and we hang on to guys too long that we should shake. And AK gets a nice paycheck during his 1 year deal in his final RFA year. Good for him, not very good for us.

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