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Instant Analysis: Kostitsyn Signing

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
As the NHL Draft and NHL Free Agency periods approached, Nashville GM David Poile actively tweaked the Preds roster. The moves today and earlier during the 4th of July Holiday Weekend put some closure on two of those moves.

Today’s signing of Sergei Kostitsyn wraps up Nashville’s trade with Montreal from last week. At the time the Preds traded pending free agents Dustin Boyd and Dan Ellis to the Canadiens in exchange for pending restricted free agent Sergei Kostitsyn. The trade also included future draft pick considerations in the event players didn’t sign with their new clubs. However now that all three players involved have signed NHL contracts – Boyd with Montreal, Ellis with Tampa Bay, and Kostitsyn with Nashville – the draft pick considerations all washed out. Kostitsyn gives the Predators an extra element of skill and creativity from the wing; a young forward with dynamic offensive capabilities. He’s struggled to showcase his full potential during his first three NHL seasons, but Kostitsyn was a star for Belarus during the 2010 Olympic tournament and has been a proven offensive force in the AHL --- a track record fairly similar to Patric Hornqvist prior to his breakthrough campaign last season.

Similarly, Friday’s free agent signing of Matthew Lombardi effectively closes the book on the Jason Arnott trade. When the Preds traded Arnott to New Jersey on June 18, Nashville GM David Poile hinted that the move would give the Predators salary flexibility for the free agent market. Two days into the open market Poile used those “savings” to net Lombardi, essentially upping the trade return for Arnott to Lombardi, prospect Matt Halischuk, and a 2011 second round pick.

There’s still a lot of time remaining before the start of Training Camp – and Preds may very well make a couple more tweaks to the roster before the team reconvenes to open camp – but the Predators lineup appears fairly well set for 2010-11.

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