Sansided
Editorials

New York Islanders Free Agents We’ve Seen For Last Time

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Goalie Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Islanders looks on after allowing a goal to Matt Niskanen #2 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at Capital One Arena on March 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Goalie Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Islanders looks on after allowing a goal to Matt Niskanen #2 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at Capital One Arena on March 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 22: Nikolay Kulemin #86 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 5:01 of the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2017 in New York City. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 22: Nikolay Kulemin #86 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 5:01 of the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2017 in New York City. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Nikolai Kulemin

Cap Hit: $4.1875 million

Just like Seidenberg, there is no reason to keep Nikolai Kulemin. None. He’s at best a fourth line player, and with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck, the New York Islanders already have two-thirds of their slots figured out.

Even when he was on the team he was surplus to requirements. And when you consider that he was eating up $4.1875 million on the Islanders cap. With Casey and Cal that easily makes the Islanders fourth line the most expensive in the league.

Must Read: How Bad Isles 4th Line Was vs. Rest of League

What was Nikolai Kulemin bringing anyways? In four years with the Islanders, he put up 79 points in 248 games. He wasn’t bringing production that’s for sure.

I’ve often been told that Kulemin was a good possession player. But outside of a 52.06 percent Corsi-for in 2014-15 – his first year with the Isles- he’s never exceeded 47 percent.

So again, what is he bringing exactly? Or better yet, what does he bring that a player making a fraction of his cost can’t bring? A player like Alan Quine is one of those cheap and equally adequate replacements for Kulemin.

There is absolutely no need to bring Nikolai Kulemin back. The Islanders could fill his spot with almost anyone on the roster and they could likely do a similar job.

I feel bad that his Islanders career likely ended prematurely due to an injury. But that’s the reality of playing competitive sports.

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