MINSK, 12 June (BelTA) - Forward of the Belarusian national ice hockey team Andrei Kostitsyn will stay in HC Traktor Chelyabinsk and play the next season in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The relevant information has appeared in the Russian media with the reference to HC Traktor Chelyabinsk Manager Yevgeny Tsybuk, BelTA has learnt.
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.
Andrei Kostitsyn was excluded from the Belarusian national team prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics qualification for disciplinary reasons. He did not play in the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Stockholm either as he was recovering from an injury.
In late May the news came that Belarusí goalie Andrei Mezin had not been offered a new contract in HC Traktor. Andrei Kostitsyn has remained the only Belarusian national on the Chelyabinsk team.