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Leafs sign F Kulemin for 2 years

Friday, 07.20.2012 / 2:01 PM / News

Associated Press

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Leafs sign F Kulemin for 2 years

TORONTO (AP) - TORONTO (AP) - The Toronto Maple Leafs have avoided arbitration with Nikolai Kulemin, signing the forward to a two-year, $5.6-million deal.

Kulemin will make $2.6 million next season and $3 million in 2013-14. He made $2.2 million last season.

Kulemin had just seven goals and 21 assists before missing the last 12 games of a disappointing season with a broken finger. The Maple Leafs are hoping that season was an aberration and Kulemin can replicate the form he showed when he scored 30 goals and added 27 assists in 2010-11.

The native of Russia has 68 goals and 84 assists in 303 games with Toronto.

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We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp