A list of twenty-three restricted free agents has been released by the NHLPA who have chosen to file for salary arbitration, with our own Sergei Kostitsyn on that list. So what does this mean for SK74 and his future with the Preds?
Well, it won’t affect the whole Predators RFA deal, but if the Predators were to win the hearing on Friday, SK74 could choose wether to agree to a contract or continue with his appeal for arbitration. The only problem with this arbitration is the fact that, if Kostitsyn aims too high, the Predators may let SK74 go (which wouldn’t surprise me if they did with the way Poile has been trying to create an entire new team). If the NHLPA wins the hearing, this arbitration won’t even matter since he will then be open for anyone to snatch up. However, with this appeal for arbitration, our Sergei cannot receive offer sheets from other teams.
Are we surprised Kostitsyn filed for arbitration? Nope, not one bit. SK74 definitely deserves a pay raise and he definitely will get one, but our only concern is Poile and his recent motions. It would not surprise us if, even though Kostitsyn keeps saying he wants to stay with Nashville, Poile let’s him go, no matter how much SK74 asks for. In a nutshell, however, Sergei Kostitsyn is simply safeguarding his negotiation position.
Let’s hope David Poile wins this hearing Friday or gives SK74 the money he deserves. We don’t need to lose another key player.