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Dmitry Kulikov Stays (For Now)

Kulikov Just got word from the Panthers that Dmitry Kulikov is going to stay with the team and the first year of his entry level deal will kick in tomorrow when he plays against Ottawa.

Randy Sexton said this afternoon that Kulikov could stay throughout the season -- but if he starts to look like he's regressing, they have no problem sending him back to junior.

For now though, the kid's staying. Welcome to South Florida.

''We spent a lot of time, myself in particular talking about this,'' said Sexton, saying he spoke to Pete DeBoer and the coaching staff as well as other GMs and coaches who have kept 18-year-old players.

''We want to insure this decision was the right one. I got a lot of different input and feedback. A whole series of things needed to be considered. We have to do the best thing for the long term development of Dmitry Kulikov and what is in the best interests of our team. I think we accomplished both things. The best thing for Dmitry right now is staying with us. But he has to work, has to continue to improve. If there becomes a time when he's not developing, I will send him back. But he's here and he's excited. Now he can relax a little, get settled in.''

Sexton said Kulikov has definitely showed a propensity for getting better. That's something that excited DeBoer as well.

''He has a great ability to handle the puck, to make plays on the power play,'' Sexton said. ''He is confident on the power play. He makes plays under pressure. He's learned from his mistakes and he hasn't repeated them. If he starts to slide because of the intensity of the grind of the season, we might take a step back. But he's gotten better. He has shown an ability to get better. He has improved.

''He can help our team,'' Sexton concluded.


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I don't know whether I'd congratulate him or feel bad for him. I guess the big fat paychecks make the losing easier to swallow.

Shame, I like the kid alot, this team will ruin him, if not physically, mentally.

No question the right move.

I agree that it is the right move. They said all along that if he wasn't one of the top 6 dmen that they wouldn't keep him up. Clearly PDB thinks more of him that Koistenen, what I don't understand is why they don't at least try playing Koistenen on D full time in a game. The whole reason he left Nashville was he was supposedly crammed down in the depth chart. I can't see how our top 6 dmen are any better the the top 6 dmen in Nashville to warrant him sitting.

or playing Forward that is. Clearly he is not one of our top 12 forwards. When Booth and Dvorak are healthy, hopefully Repik stays up and shows he belongs up here.

Great signing, now get him some new line mates. He needs somebody who is willing to back him up when he gets his face thrown into the boards like Philly. Sign a REAL ENFORCER NOW!

Wouldn't it be classic if Booth clocks Richards all by himself on 12/21? SOMEBODY has to:)

Good move. Kulikov has been one of the best on defense. If the team is to turn this season around, they need him now.

My fear is that an 18 yr old defenseman getting run over repeatedly. When Carcillo hit him into the boards, he was shaking his head a bit afterwards, Horton saw the hit and skated away and did nothing. Who is going to step up and keep the opposition from taking runs at the Panthers?

The panthers need to make a trade for a scorer asap!

Mistake by this wonderful organEYEzation.
Yes, he's gfifted, but he needs to work on his game and get better and stronger.

This environment is not good for him right now, even if the Panthers turn things around. I would be concerned about his health.

Since we are keeping him, I would suggest that Sexton goes out and gets some type of enforcer that can play.
I don't want to see Koistenen on the 4th line all year.

I feel sorry for the kid, but at least that means he can get out of here faster... I would be counting down the days, weeks, and years until I were a free agent if I were him

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