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23 августа 2008 года. 
KHL doesn't excite Kostitsyn; Canadien isn't leaving 'best league in world' // The Gazette. Montreal

Canadiens sophomore forward Sergei Kostitsyn isn't convinced Russia's Continental Hockey League - known as the KHL - will threaten the dominance of the National Hockey League.

Kostitsyn, from Belarus, said he wouldn't consider leaving the NHL even if the KHL came with a big-money offer.

"Leave the best league in the world? No, thank you," Kostitsyn told Russian prospects.com.

Kostitsyn has two years left on his entry-level contract that pays him $816,000 U.S. a season.

"It's too early for me to talk about (the number of) zeroes in the contract," he said. "I'm still young and will get mine when it's due."

Kostitsyn had nine goals and 18 assists in 52 games during his rookie season and is hoping to do even better this season.

"Many people have warned me, (Alexander) Radulov for example, that no matter how good your first season in the NHL was, the second one will be much harder," he said.

Young blue-liners don't worry Tampa's Melrose: The Tampa Lightning spent the offseason re-tooling its offence with the likes of Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts and Steven Stamkos. It's another story on the blue line where the team's best asset, Dan Boyle was shipped to San Jose in a trade.

Incoming Lightning head coach Barry Melrose is confident the defence corps, anchored by newcomer Matt Carle and veteran Filip Kuba is up to the task.

"I think we are a young defence waiting to explode. We have some great young defencemen," Melrose said. "I had young defencemen in Los Angeles - Rob Blake, Alexei Zhitnik and Darryl Sydor. They all went on to be great NHL defencemen. We have to make sure they are mentally and physically ready.

"We have to make sure the forwards help, cut back on their freelancing and have the right positioning. We need some of these guys to step up."

However, with Carle, Shane O'Brien and Paul Ranger all still learning in their mid-20s, Melrose knows the only way around a shaky defence is a solid offence.

"Our forwards are our strength," he said.

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