Andrei Kostitsyn is staying in the KHL

Hey, remember Andrei Kostitsyn?

The last time we saw AK-46 in the NHL was May 7, 2012, as a member of the Nashville Predators in a playoff game against the Phoenix Coyotes. That was the same postseason in which he infamously broke curfew with Alexander Radulov.

As the NHL lockout began, Kostitsyn decided to take his talents to the KHL as an unrestricted free agent. He signed with Traktor Chelyabinsk, and that’s where he’s staying – inking a one-year deal to remain in the KHL next season.

From Belta:

Andrei Kostitsyn has signed a new contact with HC Traktor Chelyabinsk with which he reached the 2012/2013 Gagarin Cup final. Though the contract has not yet been officially registered in the KHL, the deal has been settled and no changes are expected, Yevgeny Tsybuk is quoted as saying to the Russian media. The details of the new one-year contract have not been revealed.

In the latest championship (the regular season and the playoff) Andrei Kostitsyn made 67 outings in the HC Traktor Chelyabinsk colors earning 31 (16+15) points. He also collected 92 penalty minutes and had the plus-minus ratio of +17

Andrei Kostitsyn, 28, could return to the National Hockey League (NHL) in which his younger brother plays. HC Florida Panthers was interested in signing the former Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators player.

We’re not sure if the Panthers’ interest in Andrei Kostitsyn is recent or a reference to last season’s training camp invitation. But there might have been interest in him had he decided to head back to the NHL.

One more note from that article: Kostitsyn missed some practices and was “was excluded from the Belarusian national team prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics qualification.” Never chance, AK-46.

s/t Linda Sparks for the tip