The Panthers have signed restricted free-agent Dmitri Kulikov to a three-year, $13 million deal.
Kulikov, 23, had a career-high eight goals (19 points) but a career-worst minus-26 rating in 81 games with the Panthers in 2013-14. Kulikov did have solid possession numbers (51.2 CF%) for the second straight year and he'll be just 24-years-old in October so he should continue to improve his NHL game this season.
Kulikov will be a healthy scratch tonight; Mike Mottau in.
The 2009 14th overall pick has struggled offensively this season posting one goal and two assists with a minus-9 rating in 27 games. Panthers head coach Peter Horachek says Kulikov "needs to be accountable". Kuli is disappointed does not think he was playing bad enough to be kicked out of lineup.
() Kris Versteeg (hip) and Dmitry Kulikov (knee) skated again on Tuesday before Florida's morning skate and Dineen said both could return to the Panthers before this four-game homestand ends Saturday against the Sabres.
Kulikov getting back on the ice is a good sign but he's still not taking contact. The offensive defenseman registered four goals and 24 points in 46 games before getting hurt.