HabsWorld.net -- 

The Habs re-signed an important part of their forward group on Thursday as
Andrei Kostitsyn inked a 1 year contract worth $3.25 million.  He accepted
what was to be his qualifying offer, opting to forego his right to salary
arbitration in the process.  However, this deal means that Kostitsyn will
be an unrestricted free agent after the 2011-12 season.

Kostitsyn, a 1st round pick (10th overall) by Montreal in 2003, had 45 points
last season (20-25) with the club, the 2nd highest point output of his career. 
Interestingly enough, his best season scoring wise also came in a contract year
back in 2007-08.  The Belarussian winger’s importance doesn’t just show in
the scoring stats though as he is consistently among the hit leaders with the
Habs while his size (6’0, 214 lbs) gives the team a little bit of size on the

In 326 NHL regular season games, Kostitsyn has picked up 87 goals and 99
assists with a +16 rating and 155 PIMS.  Though he has a reputation for
drifting off in the playoffs, the stats say otherwise as his point-per-game
average is barely 0.01% different than his regular season production.  (41
GP, 11 goals and 8 assists.) 

He also is no stranger to the international stage, having represented his
country six different times at the World Championships plus four Under-18’s and
an astonishing five appearances at the Under-20’s (more commonly known as the
World Juniors).  At the Worlds this year, he played in five games, picking
up three goals and four assists.  Overall, he has played in 29 games at the
Worlds, tallying 10 goals and 16 helpers.

The Habs now have approximately $40 million committed in salaries for the
upcoming season.  They have 7 forwards, 3 defencemen (not including the
recent signings of Alexei Yemelin and Raphael Diaz, both who have cap hits of
under $1 million) and 1 goalie signed, meaning there is a lot more roster
building to come in the weeks and months ahead.