Nikolai Kulemin, and an introduction to "shooter regression"
Nikolai Kulemin has a difficult task ahead. It's going to be convincing fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that he can be more than a seven-goal scorer.
That's all Kulemin had last season. A year after a career campaign where the silent Russian notched 30, he came back down to earth in a big way and now faces a tiring restricted free agency battle.
He's an interesting case, his last two years marked with two extremes.
Much of the criticism directed at Kulemin in the past six months is due to his lack of scoring. It's where fans begin to make psychological evaluations without having met Kulemin or seen him work out. He's soft, he doesn't use his size, he doesn't find the open areas, enough.