MRandall25 wrote:There seems to be a lot of 'ifs' with Kulemin. Seems that he apparently can only produce one way (playing w/ Malkin). People (in general) also though Ponikarovsky would be good on Malkin's wing. We saw how that turned out.
If Malkin goes out, Kulemin would be a waste. He has been a waste the last 3 years. Also, KHL success doesn't exactly translate to NHL success.
The short of it is, it's not very smart to trade for a guy who you hope plays well with one of your players. GMs typically make moves that will improve the team as a whole (with Jokinen, we had a Crosby/Malkin replacement as well as a scoring Top 6 player). I dont think trading Jokinen for Kulemin improves the team, especially if Kulemin continues his lackluster play that he has over the past 3 years.
A waste the past 3 years? He had one down year in 11-12, scoring 28 points on a bad leafs team. He was a 30 goal scorer the year before that and last year he put up .5 pts a game, which is exactly what's expected of him. None of that was with Malkin. He's been relied upon as a consistent secondary scorer in Tor, and is valued as such. But he has also torn it up with Malkin in the KHL. If we got just the Toronto Kulemin, we'd be getting a very reliable player who adds much needed jam to our top 6. An upgrade over Jokinen.
But then theres the potential Malkin lights it up playing with Kulemin. Whether its Kulemin or another guy like him, there's a hole in the lineup there. Malkin has not played well with Jokinen or any of the rotating LW's since Kunitz.