Training camps are finally underway, but the Florida Panthers were missing a key piece of their puzzle on Sunday.
Dmitry Kulikov was a restricted free agent going into the lockout and decided to play for KHL Yaroslavl Lokomotiv during the work stoppage. Panthers GM Dale Tallon has been in talks with the 22-year-old defenseman’s agent, but Kulikov is reportedly still in Russia, according to the Miami Herald.
Panthers coach Kevin Dineen expects Tallon to offer clarification in the not too distant future.
“I’m a big Dmitry fan,” Dineen said. “I thought he really did a good job. He’s very young in his development. Defensemen take a little time to develop, same as goalies. He’s really on track and is a player we envision having a long and successful NHL career.”
Kulikov had four goals and 28 points in 58 games with Florida in 2011-12. He also averaged 21:51 minutes per contest and got a healthy amount of ice time with the man advantage.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.