Canadiens, Predators engage in three-player swap

The Nashville Predators sent a pair of unrestricted free agents to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday in exchange for restricted free agent forward Sergei Kostitsyn.

In return for Kostitsyn, the Canadiens acquired goaltender Dan Ellis and forward Dustin Boyd. A fifth-round conditional pick in the 2012 Entry Draft could also be transferred from one team to the other depending on whether each player signs with his new team or if his rights end up being traded.

The 23-year-old Kostitsyn was a seventh-round pick of the Canadiens in the 2005 Entry Draft and played parts of three seasons with his older brother Andrei in Montreal. In 155 NHL games, he has recorded 24 goals and 68 points, including 7 goals and 18 points in 47 games this past season. He was scoreless in five playoff games.

Ellis, 30, was a second-round pick by the Stars in 2000. He won his NHL debut for Dallas during the 2003-04 season, then resurfaced in 2007-08 with the Predators. Ellis won a career-high 23 games for Nashville that season with a 2.34 goals-against average and .924 save percentage, but his numbers declined and he lost playing time the past two seasons following the emergence of Pekka Rinne. In 111 NHL games, Ellis has a 50-42-8 record with 10 shutouts, a 2.64 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

Boyd, 23, split last season between the Flames and Predators, totaling 11 goals and 24 points in 78 games. He was scoreless in four playoff games for Nashville. A third-round pick by Calgary in the 2004 Entry Draft, Boyd has 31 goals and 62 points in 210 NHL games.

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