Kostin is the latest notable RFA the Blues have locked up.
For whatever reason, Gagarin Cup champion Klim Kostin has not been able to consistently stick with the Blues’ NHL lineup. Despite his failures to mesh with the team, the Blues tendered the RFA a qualifying offer, and today he signed a one-year, one-way $750,000 contract with the team.
That one-way part of the deal might signal that the Blues see that the odds of him sticking, even on the fourth line, are higher this season than last. Kostin was not a scoring powerhouse last year in either the NHL nor the AHL. In 40 GP with the Blues, Kostin had four goals and five assists; in 17 GP he posted three goals and three assists. In the Calder Cup playoffs Kostin continued his flat production with four goals and four assists.
This new contract is a sizable downgrade from his previous five-year deal, which had a total cap hit of $4,409,166 and a total AV of $5,471,666 when including bonuses. The winger will be competing with Josh Leivo, Nathan Walker, Alexey Toropchenko, Josh Brown, and Noel Acciari for bottom-six time. Toropchenko, Brown, and Leivo are also all signed to one-year, $750,000 deals; of the five, Toropchenko and Brown will be a RFA at their contract’s end.
It’s worth noting that Toropchenko will not be starting the season with the Blues due to shoulder surgery, so that should give Kostin ample opportunity over about two months to make a good impression.