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Report: Penguins eying Kulemin, Pouliot in free agency

Jul 1, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT

Totonto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins have considerable interest in pending unrestricted free agents Nikolai Kulemin and Benoit Pouliot, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

NHL teams are free to sign unrestricted free agents at noon, and the Penguins intend on being busy. Among their primary targets is right wing Nikolai Kulemin.

General manager Jim Rutherford — along with numerous people on his staff — possesses a high opinion of the 27-year-old forward.

Kumelin’s agent, Gary Greenstin, confirmed Monday that he held numerous conversations with Rutherford.

“Obviously the Penguins are very interested,” Greenstin said. “But other teams like him, too.”

It’s appeared for some time that the 27-year-old Kulemin, who has been with the Toronto Maple Leafs since the 2008-09 season, will go on the open market.

He wasn’t happy with his role with the Leafs over the last season.

  1. pj608 - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    Wow… They finally realize they need depth and not just every top player in the league

  2. stakex - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    As the story referenced in this post notes, I doubt the Pens can actually pay Pouliot what he wants.

    They have $14.5 million to work with to sign at least six guys, but $4 million or so of that is likely going to Brandon Sutter, leaving $10.5 to sign five players. At that point, its really hard to see how the Pens could afford the $3 million Pouliot is expected to get in free agency…. especially if they want Kulemin as bad as it sounds.

    • c9castine - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:53 AM

      ill be surprised if sutter is actually up at 4 mil. i know there is a lot to like about him and he seemed to take a big step forward late last year and a raise is imminent but 4 mil is over market price for an 11 goal player. nick spaling had 13 last year and his qualifying offer will be under 2 million. i know its not that black and white but 4 seems like a lot.

      3.2 seems more appropriate.

      • stakex - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:56 AM

        Its definitely tricky to come up with a price for what a guy like Sutter will end up making. $4 million is just the number I’ve seen floated a few times, and I do agree that it seems high. One thing that might have helped his cause were those 5 playoff goals in 13 games. Right or wrong that kind of thing tends to make you money….

        For what its worth, his QO is $2.7 million according to capgeek.

    • c9castine - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:56 AM

      also no i dont see pouliot signing…hes a nice player but not for what hes going to ask.

  3. hockey412 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    I’m thinking with Glass, Jokinen, Pyatt, etc coming off the books, they will be able to at least bring in one of these guys. Both may be difficult without another trade. Wonder if they’d ever trade Martin (or Scuderi, but I don’t think his value is all that high) and sign Orpik. There are two Martin replacements in waiting in Depres (who deserves a prolonged shot even with his screw-ups) and Pouliot. I’m sure they still need to mature but it’s better than the alternative.

  4. blynasty - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    I know Malkin and Kulemin played in Magnitogorsk together. With the loss of James Neal it would be great to see him get a linemate he is comfortable with. Pouliot makes sense for solidified depth.

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