So Sergei Kostitsyn has refused to report to Hamilton and asked for a trade through his agent, Don Meehan. Sergei's frustration is understandable, to a point. He has played most of his pro career with the Canadiens and the new coach, Jacques Martin, clearly is challenging Sergei's stature on the team. Guy Carbonneau always seemed to like Sergei, employing him in a variety of situations at a very young age. In the heat of the moment, it's easy for Sergei to have lost perspective. But there are some facts that his older brother, who is still on the Montreal Canadiens, should be able to relate to his younger sibling and perhaps ease the tension.
Andrei Kostitsyn is no stranger to Hamilton or the American Hockey League. From 2004 through 2007, he played 180 regular season games in Hamilton and 3 playoff games there. It wasn't until a 22 game stint with Montreal at the end of the 2006-07 season that Andrei ensured a spot with the main club. Andrei was never given a spot in the NHL, he earned it. This was despite being drafted 10th overall in the 2003 Entry Draft, which is widely considered the deepest draft class in recent NHL history.
By contrast, the younger brother Sergei was an afterthought at age 18, drafted 200th overall in 2005 by Montreal in what could have been seen as a charity pickup. He impressed when he came over to the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, racking up a ton of points and becoming one of the top major junior players in North America. He turned professional in 2007-08, playing 22 games with Hamilton before getting called up to Montreal, where he quickly became an everyday 3rd line player on a team that finished first overall. In 2008-09, he had what could be classified as a sophomore slump, and played his way to a mid-season demotion to Hamilton for 16 games. He came back when injuries struck the Habs again down the stretch, but failed to secure a spot.
Big brother (and more highly regarded) Andrei played a majority of 3 seasons in the AHL. After 2 professional seasons, the younger brother has only spent parts of each season in Hamilton, and has played less than a quarter of the games that his big brother did in the AHL before becoming a full time player. Perhaps the key to mending the relationship between Sergei and the Habs, if it's at all possible, rests with Andrei.
But maybe that's asking too much.