Kulemin talks at standstill

Brian Burke isn’t kidding when he says there is no progress in a new contract for restricted free agent winger Nikolai Kulemin . Talks are at a standstill.

“What he is asking for is not what we are prepared to pay,” the Leafs general manager said Thursday, when asked why he and Kulemin’s agent, Gary Greenstin, keep giving identical terse quotes on the subject. “I think his agent is a good guy. But we will grind on and see what happens.”
There are rumours Kulemin i s seeking $3 million US or higher after 36 points in 78 games, though the 23-year-old was one of the team’s most improved players.

Unrestricted free agent centres Rickard Wallin and Wayne Primeau will likely have to wait until late in the summer to see if the Leafs make other roster moves before getting any firm offers here.


39 Responses to Kulemin talks at standstill

  1. Kramer says:

    My secret sources are telling me the Leafs are working on a big trade with some other NHL team but talks are stalled and the deal might be dead. If or when I find out more, I'll post it up.

  2. reinjosh says:

    I wouldn't actually be surprised to see Kulemin moved. With the contract talks apparently going nowhere (as mentioned above), every day that continues, causes the likelihood of him being traded to go up.

    Granted, the only way I see him getting traded, is if its really worth it. Like a huge Kaberle, Kulemin packaged deal for someone (don't ask me who).

  3. leafy says:

    If the Leafs trade Kulemin, they'd better get someone good back or else. Just because there's a cap doesn't mean you should start trading away your good young players. Unless he's a total douch bag and is bargaining in bad faith.

  4. leafy says:

    Damien Cox has now really lost it!

    Can someone explain to me what is so offensive about the Blackhawks logo?  Or is this another PC thing like banning Christmas?


  5. leafmeister says:

    He probably had to meet the Toronto Stars minimum for senseless left wing content.

  6. 93killer93 says:

    John Mitchell

    Chi(salary dump)












    4th-Erik Gudbranson  D
    30th-Jeff Skinner  F
    34th-Jared Tinordi  D
    42nd-Curtis Hamilton  F
    43rd-Steve Shipley  F
    58th-Connor Brickley  F
    65th-Brandon Archibauld  D
    82nd-Jared Knight  F

  7. number15 says:

        Kulemin is only 23 years old and only showed glimpses of the type of player he might become. Now he wont be a sniper type, don't get me wrong, but he is a "complete" two way smart player who does that u can ask from him…… a top 6 talent on many teams, even a winner, id say

    Though if he is looking for 3 million, then Burke is right to play hard ball. Kulemin has potential but he is not worth that much "yet"……. he "might" be in the future, or he might not. too risky


    Best thing for both sides is to sign a 1 year contract at around 2.5 million. That way  Kulemin goes into next season with a chance to prove he is a big money player and Toronto dosent take a huge risk……

    plus Kulemin becomes a UFA next offseason and maybe cashes in even bigger if he can prove Burke wrong.

    i think thats fare

  8. broc says:

    the longtitudinal lunacy of this post is genius

  9. reinjosh says:

    Oh for sure. Should of made that more clear, sorry. If he is traded, it will only be for something very good back, otherwise I can't see Burke doing it.

    And Cox has lost it. It was quite a ridiculous notion and his support for the argument was shoddy at best.

  10. nordiques100 says:

    i believe the problem is the radislav olesz contract. that deal made a mess of everything.

    he has seasons of 21, 30 and 26 points and was overall a plus player on a bad team. he got 14 goals in 56 games and was a top 10 picks. so the assumption was he'd be good. he has since either been hurt or sucked. mostly sucked.

    Kulemin has had seasons of 31 and 36 points. he has surpassed Olesz and his highest goal total in a season. he may be seeking the 3.125 mil per over 6 years Olesz got. the last 50 games he turned it on and became the leafs most consistent and strongest forward on most nights.

    I believe he will max out at 2.5. the question is length. but no doubt, with the KHL an option, he will make high demands.

  11. leafy says:

    LOL! So true.

  12. leafy says:

    I really like Kulemin. I'll bet they'll reach a deal eventually, although if he gets traded, I hope it's a package for Bobby Ryan.

    Cox obviously had nothing to write about today. lol

  13. cam7777 says:

    Off-season Plan:

    1.) Trade Tomas Kaberle

    To VAN: Kaberle
    To TOR: Hodgson, 1st (25th overall)

    Did it ever become clear this year that Van's defense needs to be more mobile.  Is there a better transition defensemen not named Lidstrom in the league?  No.  Hodgson's back problems and feuds with management have made him a tad expendable.  Van is built to win now – Kaberle plus a free agent could be huge for them.

    2.) Add Team Toughness

    To NJD: J.Mitchell, Hayes, 2nd in 2011
    To TOR: Clarkson, 2nd in 2010 (38th overall)

    Clarkson is apparently not anxious to resign in New Jersey.  Lou would not match a 3 million dollar offer sheet, which means Clarkson's value is only a 2nd in 2011.  So we give up extra to get the right to negotiate a contract and also land a 2nd rounder this year.  Jersey reclaims some of the depth lost in the Kovalchuk trade.

    3.)  Deal Grabovski at the Draft

    To LAK: Grabovski, 4th in 2010 (nyr – 100th overall)
    To TOR: 2nd in 2010 (49th overall), 2nd in 2010 (phi – 59th overall)

    If you scan through Kings blogs, it seems the fans and management are clamoring for a flashy 2nd line center.  Stoll is suited to the 3rd line better, and most agree his offense, while sufficient, is forced.  The Kings are finally in a position to expend some picks, and it sounds like they are surely losing Frolov, so this could be a solid little move for them.

    4.) Manage the Draft

    -select Mark Pysyk 25th overall (trade up if necessary)
    -select Kirill Kabanov 38th overall (trade up if necessary)
    -select Brock Beukeboom 49th overall
    -select Teemu Pulkkinen 59th overall
    -select Jared Knight or Christian Thomas 62nd overall

    5.) Free Agency / July 1st / Re-Signs

    -sign Ilya Kovalchuk, 7 years, 54.5 million (7.75 million cap hit)
    -sign Matt Cooke, 3 years, 6.375 million (2.125 million cap hit)
    -sign Mike VanRyn, 1 year, 0.75 million (0.75 cap hit)

    -resign Nikolai Kulemin, 3 years, 8.25 million (2.75 million cap hit)
    -resign Christian Hanson, 2 years, 1.85 million (0.925 million cap hit)
    -resign David Clarkson, 3 years, 6.075 million (2.025 million cap hit)

    Everyday it seems like the Kovalchuk suitors are disappearing.  The KHL has only offered him a reported 3 years, 30 million dollars, which is a far cry from what we were hearing a few months ago.  Could a couple endorsement deals on top of a hefty salary, as well as the Burke factor be enough to convince Kovalchuk to sign on the dotted line?  I think it might.

    6.) Scour the League for a Kaberle replacement

    To NSH: Paradis, Mikus, 4th in 2011, conditional in 2012*
    To TOR: Blum

    *condition based on how many more games Blum plays in the NHL than the traded pieces, if any.  an assurance that paradis and blum are bound for the big leagues, essentially.

    Nashville wants to add more to their forward group, and has a wealth of defensemen to expend.  They might be looking for something more like a one for one swap here, but any time a financially strapped team like the Preds can get 4 players for 1, it's probably a good deal.  They would certainly have to look at this, as Paradis is pretty solid in his own right, and many feel Mikus could be a Gunnarsson in waiting.

    Ilya Kovalchuk (7.75) – Tyler Bozak (3.725) – Phil Kessel (5.4)
    Nikolai Kulemin (2.75) – Nazem Kadri (1.75) – Dave Clarkson (2.025)
    Viktor Stalberg (0.85) – Cody Hodgson (1.7) – Chris Hanson (0.925)
    Matthew Cooke (2.125) – Chris DiDomenico (0.7) – Colton Orr (1.0)

    Fredrik Sjostrom (0.75)

    Dion Phaneuf 'C' (6.5) – Luke Schenn (2.975)
    Mike Komisarek (4.5) – Jonathan Blum (0.925)
    Carl Gunnarsson (0.8) – Francois Beauchemin (3.8)

    Mike VanRyn (0.75)

    Jonas Gustavsson (1.35) – J.S. Giguere (6.0)

    Very tight to the cap at about 60 million, but within the bonus cushion still.  And since most of those bonuses won't actually be achieved, it should still be pretty well under the cap actually.  Solid team though, that would benefit enormously from an offensive deadline acquisition, or another free agent signing next summer.

  14. cam7777 says:

    Burke keeps mentioning his agent, which to me, is kind of like Burke saying "listen, Kulemin wants to be here, and I know it – just let me deal with this guy who wants his money."  Kulemin and others need to realize though, that Olesz's contract is a huge distraction for him now.  Sure he's rich now, but he's also a problem for management and will basically be shat on until someone "lends" him to a European club and we never see him again.  Somehow, I don't think Kulemin really wants his fate to lay outside the NHL.

    I would give him 3 years at 2.75.  There's nothing wrong with that from either side, and I think that's what they'll eventually settle on.

  15. mitchamac says:

    To Tor: Jordan Staal and a 1st (20th)overal

    To Pitt: Kaberle, kulemin

    Kaberle can fill Gonchares spot and Kulemin can play along side of Malkin like they use to in Russia and Toronto gets there number 1 center

  16. leafmeister says:

    I believe Burke when he says he is not interested in Kovalchuk. If he gets a big name forward it will be Marleau. That roster would still work with Marleau, with an even more managable cap hit.

  17. mitchamac says:

    To Tor: Jordan Staal and a 1st (20th)overal

    To Pitt: Kaberle, kulemin

    Kaberle can fill Gonchares spot and Kulemin can play along side of Malkin like they use to in Russia and Toronto gets there number 1 center

  18. reinjosh says:

    I don't even listen to what Burke says. Everything he says is crafted very specifically that everything can be taken so many ways. Its lawyer talk. Its what he does.

  19. reinjosh says:

    Getting Kovalchuk would be a coup and it would go a long way to making the team a playoff contender and maybe even more.

    I love Clarkson and if we could get him, it would be pretty awesome also. He is a Burke type player and would be a great fit.

    I really want to get Brad Ross. He would be a later round pick (like 3rd or 4th round) and could become a Downie like player without the attitude. I like Kabanov and Pulkinenen too. I think Burke will try to go after Dylan McIlrath if he gets an early 2nd rounder.

    I really don't think we should trade Mikus. I know I have made my thoughts on him known, but he has a high ceiling. A 6 foot 4 defenseman with all around skills, particularly with his offensive skills. His is a bit of a hit or miss prospect, but I think its worth it to wait on him. If we could get Blum another way, I would be for it, but I don't want to trade Mikus.


  20. leafy says:

    I'm starting to day dream now thinking of what it would be like to have Kovalchuk.

  21. cam7777 says:

    And all he has ever said about Kovalchuk is that he expects him to be too expensive.  We'll see though.  I think Kovalchuk is more likely than Marleau, as I believe Marleau is pretty comfortable in the South-West.

  22. cam7777 says:

    Blum is ridiculous though man.  He would be our answer for PK Subban for years.  Just look at that defense I put up and imagine it 2-3 years from now.  Sure Beauchemin has been replaced by Aulie/Blacker/Holzer (boo-hoo), but Christ, the rest of that group is going to be friggin' solid for a long time.  Our only chance to get Blum now is through a package, and Mikus is good, but not too good to keep. 

    If we had all those picks I mentioned, our defensive depth moving forward would look like this:

    Mark Pysyk
    Jesse Blacker
    Keith Aulie
    Korbinian Holzer
    Brock Beukeboom

    That's pretty ridiculous.

  23. reinjosh says:

    Yea, fair enough. I wouldn't be unhappy if Blum were coming our way, but at the same time, I would be sad to see Mikus go.

  24. nordiques100 says:

    i wonder if the leafs could land kabanov in the 3rd round. he's been dropping like a stone for abandoning his team in the Q and getting kicked out of a tournament. he has all the skill in the world. may be worth a shot if he is still there with the 62nd pick.

  25. reinjosh says:

    That would be sweet. I think he went a long way to helping his standing yesterday with his press conference and admitting he made a mistake, so he might go in the 2nd round. I would snap him up at 62nd if he is still there.

  26. Kramer says:

    Kulemin can't go back to Russia. He'd be sent to the Gulag for defecting.

  27. cam7777 says:

    Wouldn't it be sweet if Burke was just using this Kulemin situation to make bad press for Russians so he could land Kabanov with a later pick by scaring off all the other GMs.  Meanwhile he really has a deal in place for Kulemin and Kovalchuk for after the draft. 

    I would even take Kabanov in the late 1st round if the oppurtunity presented itself.  I think he will go early in the second round though, as there are a few teams who have multiple 2nds, and can afford to take a chance on him growing into a more mature guy.  I really like a lot of the guys available from 20-70 in this draft actually, and I hope Burke can score 3 or 4 picks in that range.

  28. reinjosh says:

    That would be sweet. Yeah, I would say their are a lot of guys from 20 – 80 that I really like. Burke getting more picks in that range would be awesome. I love draft day and it would make it so much better.

  29. reinjosh says:

    Apparently the Leafs are set to sign Claude Loiselle as an assistant GM. According to TSN he will manage the Leafs Salary Cap and contracts for the team. Adding another executive always helps and it looks like the triumvirate of Burke, Nonis and Fletcher want to add a guy to help with the contract side (something I was never keen on with Burke). Beefing up for July 1st maybe?

  30. nordiques100 says:

    spent the last half year pro scouting with the leafs.  i think he and burke worked together in the nhl offices. good, experienced pickup.

    pretty wild how the front office has changed so much since JFJ. he couldnt hire anyone cause he was afraid to lose their job to them.

    burke now has poulin, nonis, loiselle, fletcher with mike penny, dave morrison, steve kasper and tom watt on the scouting staff.

  31. cam7777 says:

    And don't we have Naslund scouting European talent for us as well?  Or did I just make that up?

  32. 93killer93 says:

    Naslund was suppose to sign on as a European Scout but then he and Forsberg started playing in Sweden.

  33. HABSSTAR says:

    What a dink.  It's about as offensive as Canadiens or Canucks (especially with that Johnny Canuck character… I'm Canadian and I don't were a toque all the time nor do I attempt to hack down trees with a goalie stick.

    Yes, yes, that's it.  I'm offended by both those names of teams… now all I have to do is find a lawyer.  Any other Canadians on here up for a little class action law suit??

  34. reinjosh says:

    And the crazy part is Burke, Fletcher, Nonis have all been GM's (and still could) and Nonis and Loiselle were both considered for the Lighting GM position. Pretty awesome front office.

  35. HABSSTAR says:

    Kramer is Eklund!

  36. Boston_Bruins says:

    His combine interviews were ridiculously important. Honestly I think he has too much skill to slide too far. He has said he wants to stay in North America permanently whether it be in the CHL, AHL or NHL. I think a team will bite on that before maybe the middle of the second round at the latest.

  37. cam7777 says:

    They all say that though, including Kulemin, Frolov and Filatov.  Filatov is already in the KHL and the other two are threatening.  I say he falls to early-mid second round.

  38. Boston_Bruins says:

    Yeah I know but I think at least one team will bite on him saying that relatively early.

  39. reinjosh says:

    Oh i agree his press conference thing helped a lot. But I still don't know if its enough for any team to justify grabbing him in the first round. Too many teams can't afford to use their first rounders on him and others won't be willing to risk it. I could see maybe Phoenix or Anaheim using their second picks for it but even then why not just wait? The earliest I can see him going is maybe 31st with Edmonton's pick. I say he goes early second round at the earliest. I don't expect him to still be their in the third but I can see it.

Leave a Reply