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Report: RFA Kulikov still in Russia

Jan 13, 2013, 9:42 PM EDT

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Dmitry Kulikov #7 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils shutout the Panthers 4-0.
(April 18, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Training camps are finally underway, but the Florida Panthers were missing a key piece of their puzzle on Sunday.

Dmitry Kulikov was a restricted free agent going into the lockout and decided to play for KHL Yaroslavl Lokomotiv during the work stoppage. Panthers GM Dale Tallon has been in talks with the 22-year-old defenseman’s agent, but Kulikov is reportedly still in Russia, according to the Miami Herald.

Panthers coach Kevin Dineen expects Tallon to offer clarification in the not too distant future.

“I’m a big Dmitry fan,” Dineen said. “I thought he really did a good job. He’s very young in his development. Defensemen take a little time to develop, same as goalies. He’s really on track and is a player we envision having a long and successful NHL career.”

Kulikov had four goals and 28 points in 58 games with Florida in 2011-12. He also averaged 21:51 minutes per contest and got a healthy amount of ice time with the man advantage.

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