Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Should The Canes Pursue Nikolai Kulemin in NHL Free Agency

The Carolina Hurricanes have a lot to do this offseason, but it looks like the free agent market will be pretty thin. With a lack of high end talent available in the upcoming free agent class, the Carolina Hurricanes will need to find value wherever they can.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin could be one of those players. Coming off a very disappointing season in Toronto, the Russian winger will look to have a bounce back season, and it will likely be with a new team.

The 6’1″, 225 pound Magnitogorsk, Russia native tallied just 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) in 70 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013-2014 season.

Nikolai Kulemin scored 30 goals and added 27 assists for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2010-2011 season, but his point total has decreased dramatically since. His assist and point total has dropped every year since his breakout season in 2010-2011.

The Russian forward may not be the scorer he once was, and he may never be again, but he could still provide the Carolina Hurricanes a big third line forward who can add some offense. He could even be a guy that moves up to the top-six group of forwards in case of injury.

Nikolai Kulemin’s last contract paid him $5.6 million over two seasons. He won’t get that again this time around, but $1.5 million – $2 million for one year would be a reasonable deal for the Carolina Hurricanes and the former Maple Leaf.

Should the Carolina Hurricanes pursue Nikolai Kulemin?

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