Sergei Kostitsyn Gives Up Fight: Will Report To Hamilton

Ken BeckettCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2009

MONTREAL- JANUARY 31:  Sergei Kostitsyn #74 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the warm up period prior to facing the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre on January 31, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.   The Canadiens defeated the Kings 4-3.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The stand off is over. Sergei Kostitsyn will report to the Montreal Canadiens' AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs on Tuesday.

Kostitsyn was sent down to the Bulldogs at the end of Montreal's training camp after failing to earn a spot on the club.

He refused to report to Hamilton, and then demanded a trade. The Habs then subsequently suspended the Belarussian forward. Many hockey insiders believed that Gainey refused to trade Kostitsyn because it would give the wrong example to the club's young prospects.

Kostitsyn's decision to report to Hamilton comes only days after an interview with Yahoo! Sports where he seemed steadfast in his decision not to join the Bulldogs.

"I just want to play in the NHL." stated Kostitsyn when asked what team he wanted to play with.

The Canadiens have been hit by the injury bug hard with Andrei Markov out for 3-4 months, Ryan O'Byrne out for six weeks, and Glen Metropolit out for an undisclosed amount of time with an upper body injury.

Perhaps Kostitsyn sees this and knows that if he reports to the Bulldogs, he will have an opportunity to play with the big club very soon with the way things are going.

The reasoning behind Kostitsyn's change of heart is unknown but when he reports to the Bulldogs on Tuesday, that reasoning should become clearer when he answers the questions that will dog him from the media and his teammates.

Update: 9:05am EST - Sportsnet is reporting that Sergei Kostitsyn and Canadiens management have struck a deal that if Kostitsyn reported to Hamilton, the Habs have promised to trade him to another NHL club.

Ken Beckett is an NHL and MMA writer for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Ken, you can do so through his profile or on Facebook and Twitter.

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