Canadians swap Downey for ‘Dogs Kostitsyn

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today that the club has recalled right-winger Andrei Kostitsyn from the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Kostitsyn, 22, has appeared in six games with the Canadiens this season. The native of Novopolotsk, Belarus has one point (0-1-1), 12 shots on goal and a minus-1 rating, while totaling four points (2-2-4) and two penalty minutes in 18-career NHL games.

The 6-foot, 202-pound forward has played 50 games with the Bulldogs this season, posting career highs in goals (21), assists (31), and points (52), with 50 penalty minutes and is tied for third in the AHL with a plus-24 rating.

In return, Aaron Downey has been assigned to the ‘Dogs.

Downey, 32, played in 21 games with the Canadiens this season, and registered one goal (1-0-1) and 48 penalty minutes. Obtained from the St. Louis Blues through waivers in January, Downey has played in a total of 46 games with the Canadiens and collected six points (2-4-6), with 98 penalty minutes.

Three former Hamilton Bulldogs were dealt today prior to the National Hockey League’s 3:00 p.m. trade deadline. Ex-‘Dogs moved by their respective NHL clubs were forwards Jason Ward and Georges Laraque, and goaltender Ty Conklin.

Ward, traded by the Los Angeles Kings to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 5th round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, played in three seasons with the Bulldogs from 2002-2005. Collecting 129 points (51-78-129) in 148 games with the ‘Dogs, Ward was named to the Hamilton Spectator’s Bulldogs all-decade team and won the Less Cunningham Award for the AHL’s most valuable player in the 2002-2003 season.

Laraque, acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Phoenix Coyotes for Daniel Carcillo and a 3rd round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, was a Bulldog for three seasons from 1996-1999. He accumulated 78 points (30-48-78) and 426 penalty minutes in 144 career games in Hamilton. Laraque was named as the enforcer on the Hamilton Spectator’s Bulldogs all-decade team.

Conklin, dealt by the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Buffalo Sabres for a 5th round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, played three seasons with the Bulldogs in two different stints (2001-2003, 2005-2006). In 78 career games with Hamilton, Conklin posted a record of 33-27-11, with a 2.77 goals against average and a .910 save percentage.