Leafs' Kulemin hopes to re-sign
The Toronto Maple Leafs have filed for arbitration with restricted free agent forward Nikolai Kulemin, according to the Toronto Star.
Kulemin saw his two-year, $4.7 million contract expire at the end of the 2011-12 season. Despite struggling to find the scoring touch that he had in the previous season with the Leafs, Kulemin wants to re-sign and stay in Toronto.
"Kulemin loves the city and loves the organization a lot and would like to stay in Toronto," Kulemin's agent Gary Greenstin said. "But not everything is in my, and Kulemin's, hands. I believe the Leafs like him, but now it's strictly business."
The soon-to-be 26-year-old saw a considerable decrease in production last season, going from a career-high 30 goals in the 2010-11 season, to just seven goals last season. Still, Kulemin brings an element of skill combined with size that the Leafs are often lacking.
Arbitration hearings will take place from July 20 to August 4. Greenstin is confident that he can secure a deal for his client without resorting to arbitration.
"I believe everything will be done before August 4," Greenstin said. "I'm ready whenever the Maple Leafs want."