Those two words came out of the mouth of Nashville Predators left wing Sergei Kostitsyn as a much larger than usual crowd approached his locker at Bridgestone Arena Monday following Nashville’s morning skate prior to their 7:00 game against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
Kostitsyn was joking of course, as he was well aware that the Predators were in the process of acquiring his brother Andrei in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens when he stepped on the ice for the morning skate, but by the time he came off, the deal had been announced.
The Predators received Andrei in exchange for Nashville’s second round pick in 2013 and the conditional fifth round pick the Predators acquired in the Hal Gill trade that was made February 17th.
In 53 games played for the Canadiens this season, Andrei has 12 goals and 12 assists. The Canadiens have gone through a rocky season and Andrei has seen his role and associated ice time change several times.
Although his role in Nashville has yet to be defined, Sergei thinks that his brother’s numbers will pick up now that he is out of Montreal.
“I think he is going to come here and he is going to help a little more than he played in Montreal,” Sergei said. “I think he is going to be more happy here and I think that his production will go up.”
Predators general manager David Poile and Pierre Gauthier, his counterpart in Montreal, have become very friendly with one another lately. Poile landed Sergei prior to the start of free agency last season, and has now completed two trades in the span of ten days in advance of the 2011-12 trade deadline.
“He brings a lot of things; a bigger body, in the playoffs he has really good stats, more experience,” Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. “He may be the most skilled guy that gets moved today. That’s a good add for us. We don’t have any reservations. The strength of our group is all that matters and we just added a pretty dynamic player to our roster.
“We got deeper, we added a little bit of weight, we got a little bit older, and I think that he will be a good add. It’s worked out with Sergei and we’re hoping it will work out with Andrei as well.”
Andrei is not expected to suit up for the Predators Monday night and will likely meet the team in Carolina where the Predators will face the Hurricanes Tuesday in the second half of a back-to-back set.
Gill is excited about what his former and soon to be new teammate brings to Nashville.
“He’s got a lot of talent,” Gill said. “He’s strong. He’s big, (and has a) great shot. Things weren’t working out for him in Montreal and hopefully he can come here and hopefully things will be great with his brother.”
Nashville is knows as the Athens of the South, but when it comes to hockey, Nashville is quickly becoming the Montreal of the South with a roster that features ex-Habs Gill, the Kostitsyn brothers, and defenseman Francis Bouillon. Now if only Poile could find a way to swing a deal for Schwartz’s Delicatessen, which would be among the best acquisitions Nashville could receive from La Belle Province.