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S. Kostitsyn, O’Byrne return to Bulldogs

ham_200.jpgMontreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today that forward Sergei Kostitsyn and defenseman Ryan O’Byrne have been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, while forward Greg Stewart has been recalled to Montreal from Hamilton.

Kostitsyn, 21, has played in 52 games with the Canadiens this season accumulating 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) along with 64 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 190-pound right wing played in 52 regular-season games for Montreal last season earning 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) and 51 penalty minutes and also played in 22 games with the Bulldogs in 2007-08, recording 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) and 18 penalty minutes.

The native of Novopolotsk, Belarus also competed in 12 post-season games with the Canadiens last year registering eight points (three goals, five assists) and 14 penalty minutes.

Kostitsyn was drafted by Montreal in the seventh round, 200th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

O’Byrne, 24, has played in 13 games with the Bulldogs in 2008-2009, recording five points (one goal, four assists) and 27 penalty minutes. In 29 games with Montreal this season, the 6-foot-6, 228-pound blueliner has registered three assists and 29 penalty minutes. In 62 career regular-season games with the Canadiens, O’Byrne has posted 10 points (one goal, nine assists) and 74 penalty minutes.

In 113 career regular-season games with Hamilton, the right-handed defenseman has notched 25 points (three goals, 22 assists) and 205 penalty minutes. In 22 post-season games with the Bulldogs, all during the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Victoria, British Columbia native tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) along with 32 penalty minutes.

O’Byrne was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round, 79th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Stewart, 22, has played in three games with the Canadiens this season earning one assist. The native of Kitchener, Ontario has played in 51 of the Bulldogs’ games this season posting 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) while leading the club and ranking sixth in the AHL in penalty minutes with 170.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound left wing was Montreal’s 8th round, 246th overall selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.