Canadiens ship Sergei Kostitsyn to Predators
GM Gauthier acquires goalie Ellis to replace Halak; Boyd, futures also part of deal
The Montreal Canadiens won't be searching for Jaroslav Halak's replacement when National Hockey League free agency opens Thursday.
General manager Pierre Gauthier instead went the trade route, acquiring goaltender Dan Ellis, forward Dustin Boyd and future considerations from the Nashville Predators for left-winger Sergei Kostitsyn and future considerations on Tuesday.
Ellis, 30, won 15 games in 31 appearances this past season — his fourth in the NHL — to go with a 2.69 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.
He was set to become an unrestricted free agent after making $2 million season in 2009-10.
Players on Twitter
Dan Ellis, G, Montreal
- "Very excited about the trade! Its an honor to be part of a team with such great tradition and passion! Hope we can figure something out!"
- "Trade to mecca = phone blowing up"
- "Hello and Bonjour to all my recent followers! Have not taken French since 9th grade so please give me some leeway!"
Since the 2003-04 campaign, the Orangeville, Ont., native has amassed 50 wins and 10 shutouts In 111 regular-season games and boasts a career 2.64 GAA and .912 save percentage.
The 23-year-old Kostitsyn leaves the Canadiens after three tumultuous seasons.
In mid-May, he was kept home from a road trip to Pittsburgh during the second round of playoffs after a verbal exchange with backup goalie Carey Price in the team's dressing room after a game-day skate.
Kostitsyn returned to the lineup a week later but didn't collect a point in five post-season games.
Last October, Montreal suspended the Belarusian forward a second time on the young season after he deserted the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Hamilton.
Kostitsyn, whose older brother Andrei plays for the Canadiens, had demanded to be traded after being sent down to the minors just before the end of training camp.
He wasn't in good shape when he reported to camp after nursing an injury in the off-season and scored once in three pre-season games.
He then ran afoul of first-year Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin by missing a bus to a pre-season game in Quebec City and not paying attention during practice.
In 2007, when Kostitsyn was sent down to Hamilton, reporters asked to speak to him about the decision. He told them he would put his equipment into his car, then talk. Kostitsyn never came back, choosing to drive off instead.
He's still searching for consistency in his game as well, having seen his NHL points totals fall from 27 to 23 to 18.
Kostitsyn has 24 goals and 68 points in 155 NHL regular-season contests over three seasons and 49 points in 55 AHL games during that time.
He did provide a spark for Belarus at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, leading his team in scoring with five points in four games.
Boyd, a third-round draft pick by Calgary in 2004, is coming off a career season split between the Flames and Predators.
The 23-year-old Winnipeg native had 11 goals and 24 points in 78 outings to surpass his 22-point output from the previous season. Boyd was traded to Nashville on March 3.