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December 1, 2013 | 10:17am ET
Leafs, Panthers discussing Kulikov deal

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis is looking to land a defenseman to help the team's blueline, and he appears to be circling back with the Florida Panthers over Dmitry Kulikov.

The Leafs and Panthers had discussed a deal involving Kulikov during the off-season, but talks broke down.

According to the CBC's Elliotte Friedman, speaking during Saturday night's Hotstove Tonight segment on Hockey Night in Canada, the Leafs and Panthers are on the verge of renewing those negotiations, if they haven't already done so.

Kulikov, 23, is making $3 million this season, though his salary cap hit is $2.5 million.

The native of Lipetsk, Russia, is in the final year of his contract and can become a restricted free agent next summer.

He has struggled this season, collecting just one goal and two assists in 27 games with the Panthers, thus far.

The Maple Leafs' defensive game has struggled significantly over the last two weeks and Nonis is looking for ways to upgrade his defensive corps.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon is willing to move Kulikov, but wants a solid package in return -- it's unclear as to what the Panthers specifically want in exchange.

Kulikov's best season, to date, came in 2011-12 when he notched four goals and 24 assists for 28 points in just 58 games with the Panthers.

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