(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Mike Kostka.
Kostka, 28, split this past season between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning, registering four goals and seven assists for 11 points, along with eight penalty minutes and a plus-10 rating in 28 games. He established career-highs in goals, points, and plus/minus rating, and tied a career-high in shots on goal (49). He also posted a plus or even rating in 24 of his 28 games. Kostka tallied his first career NHL goal on October 19 vs. Toronto. He registered the first multi-point game of his career by recording two points (one goal, one assist) on December 10 at Dallas. Kostka made his Tampa Bay debut on March 1 at Dallas, and tallied the first multi-assist game of his career in his second contest as a member of the Lightning on March 2 at Colorado.
During the 2014 Playoffs, the 6-1, 210-pounder recorded two assists and posted a plus-two rating in three contests with Tampa Bay. Kostka led the team in plus/minus rating, tied for the team lead in assists, and tied for fourth on the team in points (two) and blocked shots (four). He recorded his first career NHL playoff point with an assist in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals vs. Montreal on April 16.
In 63 career NHL games with Toronto, Chicago, and Tampa Bay, Kostka has registered four goals and 15 assists for 19 points, along with 35 penalty minutes. He established a career-high in assists (eight) during his rookie season in 2012-13 with Toronto. Kostka registered his first career NHL point with an assist in his NHL debut on January 19 at Montreal. He posted a career-high, three-game assist/point streak in the first three games of his NHL career from January 19 at Montreal to January 23 at Pittsburgh (three assists over the span). The defenseman has registered two assists in four career NHL playoff games.
Kostka has also skated in 343 career games in the American Hockey League (AHL), registering 37 goals and 147 assists for 184 points, along with 215 penalty minutes and a plus-36 rating. He established AHL career-highs in goals (16), assists (38), points (54), power play goals (11) and shots on goal (199), in 80 games with the Rochester Americans during the 2010-11 season. During the 2012 Playoffs, Kostka led all AHL defensemen in goals (six) and points (12) while helping the Norfolk Admirals win the Calder Cup.
The Etobicoke, Ontario native was originally signed by the Buffalo Sabres as an undrafted free agent on March 25, 2008.