With the clock ticking on NHL teams looking to make some moves, reports out of Toronto have the Maple Leafs wanting to deal winger Nikolai Kulemin before the upcoming trade deadline.
Toronto has a surplus of forwards in the organization and want to add some help on the back line. While Kulemin has played longer for the team than any other player on the roster, this is the last year of his contract and his offensive production has dropped.
The biggest problem for the front office is finding another team to take a gamble on the veteran, hoping he resigns and not give up too much for what could be a rental player. The Leafs have searched for defensive help for the past two years with limited success, but with the hot play of goalie Jonathan Bernier and high expectations form the fans, moving the 27-year-old could be their best option.
Kulemin has expressed his thoughts on staying with the franchise, but hockey is becoming big business and winning means everything. After seeing his close friend Mikhail Grabovski being bought out of his contract last season, trade rumors have since followed and many NHL experts predict the Russian will be the next man out of town.