When the Winnipeg Jets signed Dmitry Kulikov to a three year contract following a season that he only played in 47 games because of back problems was a risk. And while he has played more games this season, the contract still looks like it will be a problem going forward and furthermore, it will be hard for the Jets to get out from under it. However, it is not Kulikov’s fault that the Jets offered him that contract (3 years at $4 333 000/year) and it would have been foolish for him to not sign it.
The stats are not very good and this is with Kulikov rarely playing off of the third pair. This is what happens when you sign a guy that one of the worst teams in the league did not want to keep and deemed expendable. If a player is that bad to them, why are you thinking they would be a good option for you?
Anyways, the Jets are in a bit of a cap-crunch right now and there had been some fans thinking that maybe Kulikov could have a sweetner added to his contract and someone would take him for the season. That does not appear to be the case based on what Patrick Marleau went for never mind the market for Jacob Trouba and PK Subban (more on that later), it actually makes sense to hold onto Kulikov. The Jets already got rid of a good player in Joel Armia to dump salary and based on the prices out there, they should only do it again if there is no other option. Now based on the cost of defenders in trades, they should explore that route to add to the defence and improve the team if they can financially afford it.
Kulikov will most likely remain a Jet for one more year and he will hopefully remain an adequate third pair option. There’s not much else to say on that.