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Insider Only Penguins don’t anticipate signing Nikolai Kulemin

kulemin Jim Rutherford appears done for the moment when it comes to adding an impact player in free agency. The Penguins still have some clear holes at forward but Rutherford admitted moments ago that he isn’t likely to sign a top-6 forward.
“I’m not sure we have to get a top-6 forward at this time,” Rutherford said.

When asked directly about Nikolai Kulemin, Rutherford indicated it’s not likely.
“I guess there’s always a chance, but it would take someone getting very, very creative,” Rutherford added.
Kulemin is seeking a four year deal worth close to the $4 million per season range.
Rutherford even threw Nick Spaling’s name in there as a player who can play in the top-6.
The Penguins had a change of philosophy in the past couple days once Christian Ehrhoff got bought out.
“Really when we got right down to it, both sides agreed at $4 million, a one year deal, and see how it goes,” Rutherford said. {Ehrhoff} “can play in all situations, 23-24 minutes per game, right or left D, power play, penalty kill, and he can really skate,” Rutherford said.
On Blake Comeau, Rutherford said he can play on the third and fourth line.
On Thomas Greiss, Rutherford said you can never have too much goaltending depth and said there’s no question he hopes Greiss can come in here and have a career year like Anton Khudobin did for Carolina last season.
Rutherford made it clear, though, that the Penguin have a No. 1 goalie in Fleury, but Greiss’s agent is signing a different tune saying they’ve been told he will compete for time with Fleury.
Notes: Deryk Engelland has signed a three year worth $8.7 million. Crazy money for him.

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William DePaoli

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William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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