As assets, the trio of Belorusans the Canadiens have had in their organization have not produced much return.

The Canadiens and Nashville combined for their second deal in two weeks with the trade of forward Andrei Kostitsyn  in return for a second round pick in 2013 and the return of a conditional pick that was part of the Hal Gill deal two weeks ago.  That pick was conditional on Blake Geoffrion, who was part of the deal for Gill,  playing forty games with the Canadiens next season.   Both Kostitsyn and Gill will be UFA’s at the end of the season.

In another move, the Canadiens claimed winger Brad Staubitz off re-entry waivers from the Minnesota Wild.  Staubitz is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.  Staubitz thus becomes a warm fill-in body if the Canadiens, as expected, unload the rest of their UFA’s and maybe more.  Staubitz is an enforcer with absolutely no offensive ability. Minnesota will be responsible for half of Staubitz’ cap hit and salary for the rest of the season.

Andrei Kostitsyn becomes the third native of Belarus to leave the Canadiens under a cloud.    In July 2008 they  traded centre Mikhail Grabovski to Toronto for the rights to defenceman Greg Pateryn and a second rounder that was later traded on to Chicago.  And in June 2010, they unloaded Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei’s brother, to the Predators for goaltender Dan Ellis and forward Dustin Boyd, both long gone from the Montreal organization.  Each has played better for their new coaches than they did for the Canadiens.

Kostitsyn has only 12 goals and 24 points in 53 games this year, and only two in his past 28 games.   A first-round pick by Montreal in 2003, he has scored at least 20 goals three times, including a career-high 26 in 2007-08.

If the Predators repeat their performance of this season in 2012-2013, this draft pick will rank somewhere around 35th overall.

Re: Staubitz – From Canadiens Publicity –

MONTREAL (February 27, 2012) – Montreal Canadiens general manager, Pierre Gauthier, announced today that forward Brad Staubitz was claimed off NHL waivers from the Minnesota Wild. 

Staubitz, 27, is currently in his fourth season in the NHL, his second as a member of the Minnesota Wild. He began his career with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09, scoring four goals and five assists in 72 games and serving 186 penalty minutes. Traded to the Wild in 2010, Staubitz played a total of 114 games with Minnesota recording nine points and 246 penalty minutes. In 2011-12, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound forward took part in 43 games with the Wild.

A native of Bright’s Grove, Ontario, Staubitz played four seasons in the OHL suiting up with Sault Ste. Marie and the Ottawa 67’s recording a total of 61 points and 483 penalty minutes in 236 games.