NHL Free Agency 2012: Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn a Fit in New Jersey?
Free agency seems to be in a rut since Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed their retirement contracts with the Minnesota Wild. Other than the shocking overpayment to former Philadelphia Flyer Matt Carle from Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning, there hasn't been too much to report on.
While Alexander Semin still remains the most talented, but not perhaps the most sought-after free agent still on the market, two Belorussian wingers sit idly by, waiting for an offer.
Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn were last seen getting pummeled by the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round of the playoffs. Not only were the Predators the favorite to win the West after Vancouver was eliminated, but the trade that brought Andrei to Nashville was a move thought to sew up Nashville's top-line scoring woes.
While Sergei registered a two points in 10 games, Andrei was the talk of the entire NHL during the Western Conference semifinals. Although it was spun by the media like they were up to some nefarious acts, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov failed to make it back to the team hotel before midnight, resulting in a one-game suspension for the pair and a healthy-scratch benching the next night, followed up by a rather quick and unpredictable playoff exit.
Still looking for some offensively-minded wingers to replace Zach Parise and Alexei Ponikarovsky, the Kostitsyn boys might be a good fit, not to mention a cheap option, for the New Jersey Devils.
In the 2010-11 season, the younger Kostitsyn scored 23 goals and put up an incredible 50 points, all while getting payed a measly $550,000. The next year, he was re-upped for a sizable raise of $2.5 million, but failed to put up as many points, finishing the season with 43.
Andrei might come at a even more surprisingly cheap price. The older Kostitsyn had the worst statistical year of his career while in full-time duty. Splitting time between the porous Montreal Canadiens and the Nashville Predators, Andrei only managed to put up 20 points on the last year of his contract which payed him $3.25 million per.
Andrei's poor performance during one of the most important seasons of his career could greatly benefit a suitor looking for his services.
While Sergei might be able to retain his old paycheck based on his regular-season numbers, Andrei is going to have to take a rather hefty pay cut unless he decides to go play in the KHL.
Playing in Nashville has given the brothers a defensive attitude towards the game, something New Jersey covets and instills in everyone who throws on a Devils uniform.
While it remains to be seen if the brothers even want to sign on the same team, picking up one or the other for a short-term deal is a no-lose scenario due to the amount of money they would cost, which right now is probably at an all-time low.
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