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KHL Rumors: Is Avangard Omsk Coming After Sergei Kostitsyn?

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What is this, 2008 all over again?

USA TODAY Sports

Just when Nashville Predators were starting to feel better about this summer's rebuilding effort, what with the Patric Hornqvist & Roman Josi contracts, along with all the anticipation around the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, we get word from across the Atlantic that the KHL may try to swipe away one of the team's top forwards:

The NHL's Nashville Predators may face a struggle to retain wing Sergei Kostitsyn after a source at KHL team Avangard Omsk told R-Sport on Thursday the Russians want him back.

Kostitsyn, 26, spent the NHL lockout at Avangard, where he scored 28 points in 27 games, in stark contrast to a largely disappointing season in Nashville once the NHL resumed, with 15 points from 46 games.

The Avangard source said the Siberian team wanted to sign Kostitsyn to revive his combination on the same line as Alexander Frolov and Dmitry Semin, a prolific partnership during the lockout.

...

Nashville failed to make the playoffs in 2012-13, while Avangard lost in the KHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

--- Ria Novosti

Oh snap, this isn't one of those "wants to play for a contender" moves, is it?

Seriously, I wouldn't put much stock in reports like this for the present time. Unnamed sources can say just about anything without fear of retribution, and people can put forth stories like for any number of reasons. SK74 is under contract for one more season at $3 million, after which he will be an unrestricted free agent, free to go wherever he likes.


Sergei Kostitsyn

#74 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators

6-0

196

Mar 20, 1987



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2012 - Sergei Kostitsyn 46 3 12 15 -5 11 1 0 0 42 7.1

My guess is that Avangard Omsk hired that sales rep from the Atlanta Hawks, who got his team into some hot water for writing an over-zealous sales letter which included talk of the Hawks landing star NBA free agents like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

I can just imagine some eager Avangard salesman writing the following...

"The energy around Avangard Omsk is hotter than Chernobyl groundwater! With massive budget, many draft picks and free agency rapidly approaching, we are sitting in best position in KHL. Our players of rapidly growing interest as the possibilities of landing Sergei Kostitsyn become more and more real."

"This is your chance to get on board before it's too late! Once we solidify our signature will not be any seats left."

What do you think? Is this anything to be concerned about, or is this more about positioning for a pitch to sign Kostitsyn next summer? Or perhaps would you shrug your shoulders if SK74 went overseas?