Nikolay Kulemin had shoulder surgery on Monday that likely will end his season and quite possibly his time with the Islanders.
Kulemin, 31, crashed awkwardly into the boards on a hit from the Oilers’ Eric Gryba last Tuesday and left the ice clutching his arm. The Islanders said his recovery time will be six months, meaning they would have to be deep in the postseason for the big winger to return.
Kulemin signed with the Islanders as a free agent on July 2, 2014, part of a package signing along with close friend Mikhail Grabovski. Kulemin signed for four years at $4.19 million per season, Grabovski for four years at $5 million per.
Kulemin ended up finding a more regular role than Grabovski, who played only 109 games with the Islanders before concussion effects put him on the sideline. The Islanders traded Grabovski’s rights to Vegas during the expansion draft in June, but Grabovski still has not been cleared to play.
Kulemin had his best Islanders season in 2014-15 with 15 goals and 16 assists. He had a goal and two assists in 13 games this season.