From the Toronto Sun:
“What he is asking for is not what we are prepared to pay,â€ the Leafs general manager said Thursday, when asked why he and Kuleminâ€™s agent, Gary Greenstin, keep giving identical terse quotes on the subject. â€œI think his agent is a good guy. But we will grind on and see what happens.â€
There are rumours Kulemin is seeking $3 million US or higher after 36 points in 78 games, though the 23-year-old was one of the teamâ€™s most improved players.”
Kulemin’s agent is likely using Grabovski’s $2.9 million x 3 year deal as a base for comparison, which isn’t completely out in left field. Nikolai finished the season very strong down the stretch, putting up 15 points in 16 March games alongside Bozak and Kessel. After the line was split up and Bozak was taken off it, Kulemin would go on to finish scoreless in 5 April games. So…. buyer beware. Kulemin is a great two-way grinder with a bit of offensive flair, but if you’re going to pay him like a top six forward, you better be ready to give him such a role because he’s not going to be creating 20+ goals by himself.