Originally Posted by Ciccarelli
I don't know, maybe he prefers Kulemin, I just thought with all the things going on with russian players (soft, greedy, selfish, threating to go back home) etc. a GM like Burke would prefer a canadian born grittier kind of player. But that was just my speculation. I personally wouldn't give up on Kulemin either, I think he has the bigger upside then Neal, but on the other hand Neil could turn out to be way more steady and less complicated to handle long term. But maybe Kulemin is one of the few russians that doesn't fit into the usual cliche of russian players.
Kulemin has demonstrated none of those qualities. He's 6'1 or 6'2 and around 220 pounds. He doesn't go into the corners like Gary Roberts
, but he goes in to the corners. He's not afraid to take a hit to get to the puck first (like Kaberle for example). He's probably the best 2 way forward on our team. He had 30 goals and was a plus player. On top of that he played all 82 games.
There's no way Burke would take 2 players with lesser value for Kulemin, be it Neal or Kennedy and Tangradi. At this point, in the direction the Leafs are going it wouldn't make sense. Also, Kulemin isn't (or hasn't turned into yet) the kind of European we've seen all to many times in the past.