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Maple Leafs avoid arbitration with Kulemin, sign forward to two-year deal

Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Nikolai Kulemin is congratulated after his goal against the Buffalo Sabres during first period NHL action in Toronto on Tuesday January 10, 2012. The Leafs have avoided arbitration with Kulemin, signing the forward to a two-year, US$5.6-million deal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

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Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Nikolai Kulemin is congratulated after his goal against the Buffalo Sabres during first period NHL action in Toronto on Tuesday January 10, 2012. The Leafs have avoided arbitration with Kulemin, signing the forward to a two-year, US$5.6-million deal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs have avoided arbitration with Nikolai Kulemin, signing the forward to a two-year, US$5.6-million deal.

Kulemin will make $2.6 million next season and $3 million in 2013-14. He made $2.2 million last season.

Kulemin is coming off a disappointing year in which he had seven goals and 21 assists before missing the last 12 games of the season with a broken finger.

The Maple Leafs are hoping that season was an aberration and that Kulemin can duplicate the form he showed when he scored 30 goals and added 27 assists in 2010-'11.

The native of Magnitogorsk, Russia has 68 goals and 84 assists in 303 games with Toronto, He was the Maple Leafs' second-round pick, 44th overall, in the 2006 NHL draft.

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