The New York Islanders are intent on upgrading the offensive talent around John Tavares and struck four-year deals with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin, a pair of forwards with a history of playing together, who should inject some life into the top two lines for the Islanders.
Grabovski, 30, signed for a reported $20 million and Kulemin’s, 27, is $16.75 million, according to Newsday as the pair are reunited after playing together with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2008-2013.
Grabovski was bought out by the Leafs resulting in their temporary breakup and had 35 points in 58 games with the Capitals, who bought him out after the season and should be penciled in as the No. 2 center behind Tavares.
Kulemin is coming off a 20-point season for the Maple Leafs after appearing in 70 games for the Leafs and likely will play on the left wing on the second line considering their history and chemistry they have from their time in Toronto.
Grabovski has scored 252 points in his eight NHL seasons and Kulemin has scored 195 points in his six seasons.
The addition of these two comes on the heels of addressing the paucity of offense on the ice and in the system when they drafted Michael Dal Colle (5th overall) & traded up to select Joshua Ho-Sang (28th overall).
The Islanders finished 17th in the NFL in goals per game last year when they scored 225 goals, but their real issue is stopping pucks from going into the net, but they hope the added offense will help remedy the minus-42 goal differential from last year when they finished with 79 points and a 33-37-11 record.