Tom Kostopoulos came to Carolina in the off-season via free agency with a reputation as a guy who can keep the locker room light and brings grit to the ice. Kostopoulos by coming to Carolina, came to a completely different hockey market. He played in Montreal for 2 season prior to Carolina and totaled 15 goals and 20 assists. Tom has seen four different NHL cities in his career as he went from the Penguins to the Kings to the Canadians while also spending some time in the AHL in between.
This season Kostopoulos became a fan favorite with his gritty play, great attitude, and leadership. As we all know the Hurricanes are a small market team and will not be signing the big name free agent, such as Ilya Kovalchuk . With that being said Kostopoulos turned out to be a very good, low price forward who ended up totaling 8 goals and 13 assists while playing his first 82 game season this year. Kostopoulos saw mostly 3rd and 4th line duty with a little bit of time on the 2nd line. He also proved to be an exciting penalty killer as he scored 2 shorthanded goals and assisted on another.
Kostopoulos has two more years on his contract and could have a good influence on the youth movement with his work ethic and gritty play. Tom will continue to be a 3rd to 4th line player next season while bring a great penalty killer and an aggresive attitude as he as he led the team with 106 last season. Kostopoulos should be a valued player for the team in the future as he will only make 950,000 in 2010-2011 and 1.1 million in 2011-2012.