Panthers Rumors: Dmitry Kulikov Becoming Extension Candidate

The Florida Panthers had another impressive campaign in 2023-24. They won the Atlantic Division, and there's a real expectation that they will go on a run this postseason because of it. 

Stars like Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, Brandon Montour, Aaron Ekblad, and 
Sergei Bobrovsky are major reasons for the Panthers' success, but their depth players have also been impactful. Dmitry Kulikov is one of them and because of his solid season, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman believes that the Panthers will sign him to a contract extension.

Friedman did not specify that the Panthers and Kulikov have had any contract extension talks, but given his impact this season, it certainly could be an avenue that gets explored. The veteran defenseman has impressed during his second stint with the Cats, posting one goal, 20 points, 145 hits, and a plus-15 rating. After a campaign like this, why shouldn't the Panthers be open to keeping him around beyond this season? 

If Kulikov is open to the idea of an affordable deal, the Panthers would be wise to keep him around. We will need to wait and see if they end up doing just that with the left-shot defender from here. It is worth some real consideration. 

photo credit: © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports