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Nikolai Kulemin avoids arbitration, signs two-year, $5.6 million deal

Jul 20, 2012, 8:53 AM EDT

Nikolai Kulemin Getty Images

The Maple Leafs won’t be taking Nikolai Kulemin to arbitration.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Leafs locked up Kulemin to a two-year contract worth $5.6 million, a deal that works out to a cap hit of $2.8 million per season.

Kulemin’s past season in Toronto was what you could call a letdown. He scored just seven goals last year, following a season that saw him pot 30 for the Leafs. Safe to say having back-to-back seasons like that wouldn’t have done him any favors in an arbitration hearing and settling on a new contract ahead of that was a good move.

For what it’s worth, Kulemin went from shooting just over 17-percent in his 30-goal season to 6.5 percent last season. Statistical corrections are cruel.

  1. omega72 - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    If Kulamin can get back to the 20+ goal Mark this is a good deal. However, if he can’t break the 10 goal mark I believe Kulamin would be best served on an energy type line to add a bit of scoring depth to the bottom 6.

    *vanRiemsdyk Kessel Lupul
    Grabovski MacArthur *Komorov/*Kadri
    McClement Kulamin Connelly.
    Steckle Brown Lombardi

    Not a terrible bottom 6.

  2. thompsonatl - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    The bottom 6 looks like an nice start for a new AHL team. With that lineup, the Leafs will be lucky to win 30 games.

    • jrsaffell - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      They won 35 with the same lineup minus JVR…

  3. jrsaffell - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    2.8 per year is nothing for a guy that allows Grabovski to do the things he can do.

    Don’t look at the numbers, watch the games. Kulemin is probably the hardest working guy on the ice and he’s a madman on the puck.

    I would’ve liked to have seen a another year or two on that contract just to save money. I have a feeling he’ll be just fine the next two seasons and he’ll be a hot commodity in two years.

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