Ex-Canadien Andrei Kostitsyn wants NHL return

Montreal Canadiens' Andrei Kostitsyn celebrates a goal against the New York Islanders. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

Andrei Kostitsyn is looking to return to the National Hockey League and Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston says there are teams interested in his services.

Kostitsyn was drafted 10th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens and has spent the last three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He spent most of his time with Traktor Chelyabinsk but a slow start this past season, including only four points in 13 games and a minus-12 rating, had him move over to HC Sochi.

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Kostitsyn, 30, was able to find his groove with Sochi, scoring 11 times — including three winners — in 37 games, while adding 20 assists.

He is best known for his time in Montreal during his first stint in the NHL. Kostitsyn spent parts of seven seasons with the Canadiens, but was traded to the Nashville Predators at the 2012 deadline. In 379 games with the Habs, he scored 99 goals and 111 assists.

Kostitsyn put up 12 points in 19 games with Nashville (plus four points in eight playoff games) before departing for the KHL at the end of the season. He and Alexander Radulov were suspended one playoff game by the Predators in their second round series against the Coyotes for “violating team rules.”

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He most recently suited up for Belarus at the World Championship, where he received a one-game suspension for a hit to the head on Russia’s Viktor Tikhonov.

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