The Return of TK

--- - Thearon W - Henderson

We interrupt your regularly schedule program to bring you breaking news out of Coal Street...

The legend himself, Tom Kostopoulos, has signed an AHL contract with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

If you are somehow unfamiliar with TK, let me refresh your memory. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 7th round of the 1999 NHL Draft, after coming off 3 highly successful seasons with the OHL's London Knights. He was amongst the Top 6 on the team his first two seasons and then had a breakout year in 1998-99 finishing the season #1 in Assists and #2 in Points and being amongst the Top 20 in the entire OHL, culminating in a playoff run that took the Knights all the way to the OHL Championships, which they lost in 7. During the playoffs that final year he led London in both Goals and Points, finishing #2 in Goals and #3 in Points amongst all OHL players.

After being drafted he joined the WBS Baby Pens for their inaugural 1999-00 season and spent the next 5 seasons between the NHL and AHL with the Penguins organization. From his first season he was #2 on the team in both Goals and Points, and the following season, still one of the top scorers on the team, the Pens won their Conference and went all the way to the Calder Cup Finals. The following season TK led the Pens in both Goals and Points and was named the the AHL All-Star Team, despite spending 11 games in Pittsburgh. For the 2002-03 season he was named team Captain and finished #2 in Goals and Points while playing a mere 8 games in Pittsburgh. Then in 2003-04 he was once again named team Captain and scored just over a point per game in WBS, but he spent the majority of the season (60 games) in Pittsburgh before returning to once again lead WBS to a Conference Championship and a bittersweet loss in the Calder Cup Finals, leading his team in scoring and finishing #3 in the AHL during the playoffs.

The following year he joined the Los Angeles Kings and spent the next 9 years of his career playing for the Kings, the Montreal Canadiens, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Calgary Flames. Then last year, having spent the lockout without a contract, he rejoined the Baby Pens on a tryout contract on January 23rd. He played well enough for the next month to earn himself an NHL deal, being signed by the Penguins on March 5th. Unfortunately, they needed to place him on waivers in order to officially assign him to the AHL after signing his NHL contract and he was claimed by the New Jersey Devils, where he finished off the remainder of the season.

Now he is back in WBS, and the popular opinion is that he will reclaim the Captaincy after the departure of former Captain Joey Mormina this summer. He brings an extreme veteran presence to the team, both within the organization and through his 14 year and over 1000 professional game career. TK currently hols the WBS franchise records for Games Played, Goals, Assists, and Points (as well as Playoff Points). Now that he is back for his 3rd stint with the team he is looking to extend those records.

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