Sergei Kostitsyn Suspended For Leaving Bulldogs; Has Agreed To Return
The Sergei Kostitsyn saga continues, as the disgruntled forward has left the Hamilton Bulldogs and has been suspended indefinitely by the Montreal Canadiens.
Sergei, the youngest of the Kostitsyn brothers, left the Hamilton Bulldogs last night after a 4-1 victory over the Manitoba Moose at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
Kostitsyn took all of his belongings with him and has not been heard from since. The Canadiens responded by suspending him indefinitely.
This isn't the first time this season that Kostitsyn has been suspended by the Habs.
Back in late September, when Sergei was cut from the Canadiens and sent down to the Bulldogs, he initially refused to report and was subsequently suspended.
Kostitsyn did an interview with Yahoo! Sports where he explained that he wanted to play in the NHL and would not be reporting to the Bulldogs.
Then only a few days later he changed his tune and reported to Hamilton, and the suspension was lifted.
In five games this season with the Bulldogs, Kostitsyn has two goals, and two assists.
It is unclear where Sergei Kostitsyn has gone. Whether he is in hiding in Hamilton or has gone back to be with his family in Belarus is unknown at this time.
Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey has a few options regarding how to deal with this latest development.
Gainey can keep Sergei suspended and wait it out. Hoping that Kostitsyn changes his mind like before and decides that he wants to play for Hamilton and earn his way back into the NHL.
Another option is to trade the unhappy Belarussian forward. It has been reported during Kostitsyn's previous suspension that there were two NHL clubs, specifically the Nashville Predators and the Los Angeles Kings, that were interested in him.
The third option would be to release Kostitsyn from his contract, allowing he and his agent to seek out a new deal with an NHL team that would allow him to play in the NHL. Or to go back to his home country and perhaps play in the KHL.
For that option to work however, the Habs would have to absorb the remaining amount left on Kostitsyn's $816,667 contract for this year. That amount would of course be a cap hit against Montreal, making this option seem unlikely.
It should be interesting to see how the Sergei Kostitsyn saga unfolds in the coming days, and what actions general manager Bob Gainey decides to take with the very disgruntled younger Kostitsyn brother.
Update - 9:23pm EDT - After a meeting this evening with Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey, Sergei Kostitsyn has agreed to return to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
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