The enigmatic elder Kostitsyn brother has pretty well worn out his welcome in Quebec. He was one of a cohort of talented players drafted by the Canadiens from 2000 to 2004. Generally that group hasn't lived up to their potential or has moved on from Montreal—or both.
Mikhail Grabovski, Mark Streit, Kyle Chipchura, Maxim Lapierre, Ryan O'Byrne, Jaroslav Halak, Chris Higgins, Mike Komisarek, Alexei Yemelin, Alexander Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, Ron Hainsey, Marcel Hossa and Andrei Kostitsyn were the best of that group. Of them all, only Plekanec, Kostitsyn and Yemelin remain.
Kostitsyn, taken 10th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, was the second earliest of these draft picks, with only Komisarek taken higher (seventh in 2001).
Andrei Kostitsyn had his best NHL season as a 22-year-old in 2007/08, when he scored 26 goals and 53 points in 78 games. He parlayed that into a three-year $3.5 million a year contract. The Canadiens made the winger a qualifying offer at $3.25 million for this year, and he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
Kostitsyn has been that rare finisher on a Canadiens team that lacks scorers. Still 41, 33 and 45 points in the last three seasons has not put him at the top of anyone's offensive prospect list. Like younger brother Sergei before him, he has pretty well underperformed and complained his way out of town.
The Canadiens dealt young Sergei last year after he refused a demotion to the AHL. They got checker Dustin Boyd and the rights, since lapsed, to goalie Dan Ellis in return. Sergei got ice time in Nashville and translated that and his skills into a reasonable 23-goal, 50-point season. Given a similar chance, Andrei would be expected to produce even better numbers than this.
Now, Andrei Kostitsyn has been quoted on a Belarusian website as complaining about coach Jacques Martin and also expressing the fear—well grounded, I would guess—that he might not get top-six ice time with the Canadiens this season.
The rumour is that the Canadiens are now actively shopping Andrei. His skills and price tag may generate some interest, especially from teams who need to add salary.