What Andrei Kostitsyn brings to the Nashville Predators

With the Andrei Kostitsyn trade in exchange for a 2013 2nd-round draft pick (and the conditional pick which was part of the Hal Gill trade), the Nashville Predators have added another piece to what they hope will be a highly effective "scoring by committee" approach.


Andrei Kostitsyn

#46 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators

6-0

213

Feb 03, 1985

Contract: $3.25 million, UFA this summer



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2011 - Andrei Kostitsyn 53 12 12 24 -8 16 3 0 3 93 12.9

Follow after the jump for a look at what AK46 brings to Smashville...

The Scouting Report

Assets
  • Owns a great wrist shot, which he uses with aplomb. Has explosive scoring ability and a nose for the net. Loves to dangle and make nifty plays. Has a strong lower base, so he's hard to knock off the puck.
Flaws
  • Doesn't always put out maximum effort and seems to lack focus at times. Has issues in the defensive zone, since he often makes high-risk passes. Leaves himself vulnerable to big hits, which can lead to injuries.
Career Potential
  • Inconsistent, yet highly skilled scoring winger.

*sniff* You had me at that first sentence, Andrei.

Dave Staples at the Edmonton Journal argued recently that Kostitsyn ranks among the NHL's most underrated snipers, but as a guy who has produced at a 40-50 point pace for most of his career, he'll fit right in with the rest of Nashville's forwards. I just like the fact that he's consistently averaged 2-2.5 shots per game over the years, and seems to have a bit more of a nose for the net than his younger brother Sergei.

Impact on the lineup

Kostitsyn should add some pop on the left side that will give the team 20-goal-caliber wingers on each side of their top 3 lines. Do the Preds play him with his brother and break up what has been an effective line with Fisher and Erat? Or do they perhaps put him alongside David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist, leaving the Fisher line and the Wilson-Spaling-Tootoo trio together? It's entirely possible that with the playoffs looming, rookie Craig Smith could be relegated to a lesser role.

Another option would be to give Smith an audition as the team's 3rd offensive center, moving Spaling down to the 4th as more of a checking/PK specialist with Matt Halischuk and the grinder of your choice.

Thoughts From the OTF Staff

Sam: Wow great deal. Preds get a guy with not-long-lost 60 point potential without giving up any main trade assets. Sergei gets his brother back and I get a sweet "S. Kostitsyn" jersey. Would love to see the Preds grab Grabovski now and reunite Belarus' top line.

Marc: Love it. The Preds still have their 2012 first to work with and didn't give up a roster player. Yes, there are attitude questions, but if there's a coach who can make that work, it's Trotz.

Chris: Love the deal. Considering the low likelihood that a late second round pick will turn into a serviceable player, the rewards far outweigh the risk here. Andrei needed a change of scenery, and you have to think that he and Sergei could work magic given the right opportunity. AK is the big bodied shooter, SK the shifty playmaker. Like a cheap version of the Sedins. Well, not really, but I still like the deal.

Conclusion

All in all, this is a low-risk maneuver by David Poile, bolstering the team's forward lines without having to give up anything off the current roster. The question now is whether one of the depth forwards like Gabriel Bourque, Matt Halischuk, or Brandon Yip get pushed to the press box, or perhaps even out the door via another trade in a numbers game.

By all accounts, the much talked-about scandals involving he and his younger brother Sergei in Montreal have been wildly overblown, and perhaps with a bit more age and experience for the both of them (and a playoff run on the horizon), they can take a business-like approach to the weeks ahead.

We just want to make sure that together, they don't turn out to be a pair of boobs.


Please use this thread to discuss the AK46 trade, and keep the general Deadline Open Thread for general NHL talk (just to keep things clear).

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