BROSSARD, Que. – Disgruntled forward Sergei Kostitsyn has been suspended by the Montreal Canadiens for a second time this season after deserting the team’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton.
The hockey club made the announcement during practice on Wednesday in suburban Montreal.
Kostitsyn, 22, 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.
The Belarusian forward held out for nearly a week and was suspended before agreeing to report.
Kostitsyn had notched two goals and four points in five games with the Bulldogs this season before leaving the team Tuesday night, and hasn’t been heard from since.
Kostitsyn was not 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 new coach Jacques Martin by missing a bus to a pre-season game in Quebec City and not paying attention during practice.
Kostitsyn had eight goals and 15 assists in 56 games for Montreal last season and had 13 points in 16 games with Hamilton.
The Canadiens did not immediately comment on the latest incident or whether it spelled the end of Kostitsyn’s time with the franchise or the NHL altogether.
Don Meehan, Kostitsyn’s agent, said he didn’t advise his client to quit.
“It was his decision, not mine,” Meehan told The Canadian Press in an interview.
Meehan said Kostitsyn would meet with Canadiens GM Bob Gainey on Wednesday evening. Meehan said that he would not be a part of the meeting.
Reports have indicated that Kostitsyn has been mulling an offer to play in the Continental Hockey League, known as the KHL.
“I know that Sergei is thinking about going to play in Russia, but I don’t know if he’ll go,” Meehan said.
If so, it would mark the second time the Bulldogs have lost a player to Russia in as many seasons.
Former defence prospect Pavel Valentenko left for Dynamo Moscow about the same time last year. Valentenko was subsequently traded to the New York Rangers in the off-season.