The Florida Panthers have already been involved in some offseason transactions, and on Monday it was reported that the Boston Bruins were interested in Panthers’ defenceman Dmitry Kulikov.
According to Jimmy Murphy, the Bruins offered their 2016 first-round pick (29th overall) as “a starting point” in an attempt to acquire the 25-year-old defenceman who still has one year left on his contract at a cap hit of just over $4.3-million.
However, the Panthers aren’t exactly looking to go down that road. According to Florida’s general manager Tom Rowe, the Panthers are in no way looking to move Kulikov.
#FlaPanthers' Rowe says he's "not shopping" Dmitry Kulikov, expects Brian Campbell to test free agency. Lefty D-man will be sought-after.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 21, 2016
Florida already shipped out Erik Gudbranson earlier this offseason and likely won’t be bringing back Brian Campbell, as he’s expected to test free agency. With that in mind, they were able to acquire the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Keith Yandle on Tuesday.
Still, if the Panthers are able to sign Yandle, it’s unlikely they move Kulikov – especially to a divisional rival like the Bruins.
While Kulikov is not the most offensively gifted blue liner, he’s presence is an important one for the Panthers. In 460 regular season games, he’s notched 28 goals and 138 points over seven seasons. But it’s his 735 career hits and 610 blocked shots that make him an asset to any team looking to acquire him.
According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, if the Panthers are able to acquire another defenceman Kulikov could be in play. But for the time being, it looks as though the former first-round pick will be staying put in Sunrise.