Nashville Predators forward Sergei Kostitsyn has avoided a salary arbitration hearing.
Kostitsyn, who had a team-leading 23 goals and 50 points in 77 games last season, has agreed to a one-year contract with the club that will pay him $2.5 million.
Kostitsyn's goal total was just one shy of his output from his first three seasons and 155 games in the NHL, while his point total equaled that from his previous two campaigns combined (17-33-50 in 108 games).
The Novopolotsk, Belarus native amassed 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) in 59 games from Dec. 1 to the end of the regular season. Kostitsyn registered points in 35 of those 59 games, including an 11-game point streak (7 goals, 8 assists) from March 17-April 8, the second longest point streak in franchise history and tied for the third longest in the League in 2010-11. Kostitsyn scored his 23 goals on just 93 shots – 40 fewer than the next highest shot total among the 68 players with 23-or-more tallies, giving him a League-leading shooting percentage of 24.7.
Acquired for a pair of pending free agents (Dan Ellis and Dustin Boyd) on June 29, 2010, the 6-foot, 207-pound left wing has 118 points (47 goals, 71 assists) in 232 career games since 2007. He was originally Montreal's sixth choice, (No. 200) at the 2005 Entry Draft.
He faced an arbitration hearing over his status as a potential unrestricted free agent after the National Hockey League Players' Association filed a grievance, arguing that the qualifying offer from Predators was delivered outside the parameters outlined in the CBA.
Friday's signing made the arbitration hearing unnecessary.