: Player Discussion:
Kulemin was one of the best defensive forwards in hockey.
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05-19-2013, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: The Hammer
Kulemin was one of the most important forwards this past year, and going forward, IMO. In a previous thread I described him as a "Swiss Army knife" player. Possesses a 200 foot game and contributes at both ends.
What is overlooked is the fact that without him (and McClement, for that matter), is the creation of our end of period/game/faceoff "hybrid" shut down line. By using the complementary pieces from other lines (Bozak for faceoffs and Jay/Kulie/Komarov on the wings), it freed up some space on our "3rd line", allowing youngsters like Frattin and Kadri to immerse themselves initially with sheltered minutes and responsibilities, allowing them to grow at a proper pace and not shoved into the fire initially.
Without Kulie's all-around play, who would be turned to in those types of situations? Keeping in mind that Carlyle relies heavily on his veterans in these situations (for the most part), I think they would have brought in some outside help. Think of guys like Winnik, etc, basically your prototypical 3rd line guys. That changes the dynamic of the 3rd line, which would possibly not allow the likes of Kadri, Frattin, to slot in there.
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