Leafs ready for arbitration with Kulemin

Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin during practice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont., Feb....

Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin during practice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont., Feb. 27, 2012. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 PM ET

TORONTO - If the Maple Leafs go to salary arbitration with forward Nikolai Kulemin, so be it.

“We’re gearing for it,” Leafs assistant general manager Claude Loiselle said on Tuesday. “But it’s a process. Everyone wants to get (a new contract) done early in the summer but the reality is that is not always the case.”

The arbitration case is set to be heard on July 26 in Toronto. The Leafs and Gary Greenstin, the agent for Kulemin, can keep hammering away on new deal before the case goes before an arbitrator.

Kulemin, in 2011-12, scored just seven goals and had 21 assists, one season after scoring a career-high 30 goals. The 25-year-old made $2.2 million US last season, with a salary cap hit of $2.35 million. If the Leafs and Kulemin go to arbitration, which was filed for by the team, Kulemin will not receive less than 85% of his 2011-12 salary.

Negotiations continue with another restricted free agent, defenceman Cody Franson.

Loiselle said he has no concerns about whether a contract will get done with both Kulemin and Franson

The Leafs have agreed to terms with defenceman Simon Gysbers, who had five goals and 24 assists and was plus-13 in 68 games last season with the Toronto Marlies.


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