Nashville Predators trade Dan Ellis, Dustin Boyd to Montreal Canadiens for Sergei Kostitsyn

Per TSN's Bob McKenzie (and various other outlets), the Nashville Predators have traded goaltender Dan Ellis, center Dustin Boyd, and future considerations to the Montreal Canadiens for winger Sergei Kostitsyn and future considerations. 

Keep in mind that Boyd and Ellis are an unrestricted free agents (Boyd because the Preds didn't qualify him yesterday), while Kostitsyn is a restricted free agent, so essentially the Preds and Habs have swapped the rights to negotiate with the players until July 1, although Nashville has the upper hand in signing Kostitsyn. Its a trade that cost the Predators nothing in the short term, since neither Boyd or Ellis were to be retained. Kostitsyn is a highly-skilled, though underperforming winger whose cap hit was $800,000 in 2009-10, and it'll be interesting to see if Poile can re-sign him to a similar deal. 

Sergei Kostitsyn

#74 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators

6-0

210

Mar 20, 1987

A look at Kostitsyn as a player, and the Preds' press release follows after the jump...

So here's the scouting report:

Assets
  • Has slick moves, shiftiness and loads of creativity with the puck. Can play either wing position and is equally good finishing plays or setting up mates. Also displays a feisty attitude.
Flaws
  • Struggles without the puck on his stick and in the defensive zone. Has questionable work ethic and attitude, which hurts his overall potential at the highest level.
Career Potential
  • Skilled winger with attitude issues.

The whole "questionable work ethic and attitude" really doesn't scream "Nashville Predators", does it? Recall that in 2009 he refused to report to Hamilton when the Canadiens sent him down, resulting in a suspension from the team. After all the talk about the emphasis on character that the Predators have in drafting players, bringing in Kostitsyn is a real head-scratcher.

I see a guy who hasn't hit 10 goals or 30 points in any of 3 NHL seasons, and wonder exactly what he adds to this team. Yes, his scoring rate in 5-on-5 play last season (1.85 points per 60 minutes) compares favorably to Nashville forwards like Martin Erat and Steve Sullivan (1.89 and 1.90, respectively), but if he can't play the Barry Trotz system, how will he stay in the lineup?

From the Montreal perspective, it sounds like they're happy that GM Pierre Gauthier "jettisoned the enfant terrible to Opryland."

Here's the team's presser:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has sent goaltender Dan Ellis and forward Dustin Boyd to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Sergei Kostitsyn (SAIR-gay kaws-TIHT-sihn). All three players' current contracts expire on Thursday, July 1.

Kostitsyn, 23 (3/20/87), posted 18 points (7g-11a) in 47 contests during his third season at the NHL level with Montreal in 2009-10. In 155 career NHL contests over the past three seasons, the 6-0, 210-pound left wing has amassed 68 points (24g-44a), in addition to 49 points (15g-34a) in 55 American Hockey League games. Kostitsyn has also suited up for the Habs in each of their last three playoff appearances, putting up eight points (3g-5a) in 18 games.

A native of Novopolotsk, Belarus, Kostitsyn represented his country at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, leading the Belarusians in points with five (2g-3a) in four games. He was Montreal's sixth selection, 200th overall (seventh round), in the 2005 Entry Draft. His brother, Andrei, has been part of the Montreal organization since being selected 10th overall in the 2003 Entry Draft.

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