Nikolai Kulemin Signs With Toronto Maple Leafs, What’s Next?

July 2nd, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
After weeks of negotiating, the Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they have signed winger Nikolai Kulemin to a two-year, $4.7 million contract.

The deal is somewhat of a compromise to what Kulemin was originally asking for—believed to be in the $3 million per season range.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke had said all along that he had no intention of paying first line money to a player he deemed had not earned it, thus, the $4.7 deal, which both parties are happy with.

In Kulemin, the Leafs solidify one of their top six forwards and hold on to a player that has the potential to be a 20-30 goal scorer.

Kulemin, a former Leafs' second round draft pick (44th overall, 2006), scored 16 goals and added 20 assists last season for a total of 36 points in 2009-10, mostly in a first or second line role.

The recent acquisitions of Kris Versteeg (acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks) and Colby Armstrong (free agent signing) should give Kulemin some competition for first line minutes, with Armstrong likely emerging as the stronger candidate.

A second line featuring Armstrong, Tyler Bozak, and Kulemin would seem id ...

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