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.
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: