The Florida Panthers are keeping defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, signing him to a three-year deal on Friday.
Kulikov has spent each of his first five NHL seasons with the Panthers, with 24 goals and 75 assists in 313 games. He logged the second-most minutes for the Panthers this past season and was a regular on Florida's power-play and penalty-kill units.
Kulikov set career-bests this past season with 81 games played, eight goals and 66 penalty minutes.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says Kulikov's ability has never been questioned, and that it's now time ''for him now to make a statement and be a leader on our team.''
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