Publish date:

Montreal signs forward Tom Kostopoulos to US$1.8-million, two-year deal

"My whole game's based on hard work," the former Los Angeles Kings forward said Wednesday after signing a US$1.8-million, two-year contract as a free agent with the Canadiens. "I try to play physical, play along the boards. I try to do all the little things in the game."

The six-foot, 205-pound Kostopoulos is a third-or fourth-line checking forward who had seven goals and 15 assists in 76 games for the Kings last season.

He was the third - and likely the last - free agent to sign with Montreal after defenceman Roman Hamrlik signed a $22-million, four-year pact and centre Bryan Smolinski signed a $2-million, one-year deal on Monday.

Smolinski and Kostopoulos replace departed free agents Radek Bonk, who signed with Nashville, and Mike Johnson, who has yet to sign with a team.

Both newcomers are right-handed shots, which the Canadiens needed.

Kostopoulos, who earned $600,000 last season, will get $900,000 in each year of his new deal.

The Mississauga, Ont., native was delighted to sign with the Canadiens. He even vowed to brush up on his French, which he studied in an immersion program as a youngster.

"There were a few teams interested, but I was very excited when Montreal came into the picture," he said on a conference call from his home in Oakville, Ont. "Growing up in Toronto, I know the rivalry between the Leafs and the Canadiens.

"I think it's an honour to play for Montreal. It's one of the greatest places to play in the NHL. I love the building and I know the fans are very passionate."

The 28-year-old has 70 points (25-45) in 231 career NHL games with the Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was taken in the seventh round (204th overall) by the Penguins in the 1999 NHL entry draft.

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_16953548_168393426_lowres
Play

Jesperi Kotkaniemi Is In The Right Hands

Carolina's offer sheet gave the Finnish forward a chance to reset an NHL career that had been bungled in Montreal.

Juraj Slafkovsky
Play

Nine Standout European Prospects to Open the Season

Which prospects have stood out so far in Europe’s best junior and pro leagues? Let's take a look at nine top names, including drafted players and many top 2022 and 2023 prospects.

Hampus Lindholm
Play

Could the New York Islanders Pursue Hampus Lindholm?

Pending UFA Hampus Lindholm could be a big target for teams at the NHL trade deadline, and don't be surprised if the New York Islanders come calling.