Florida hockey player Kulikov explained how the mentality of Panthers players has changed recently

Florida hockey player Kulikov explained how the mentality of Panthers players has changed recently

Russian defender from Florida Dmitry Kulikov In an interview with , he said that in recent years, NHL opponents have begun to perceive the Panthers differently.

Kulikov signed a contract with Florida before the start of the 2023/24 season. Thus, the Russian returned to the team where his NHL career began.

After the 2009 draft, in which Kulikov was selected in the first round with the 14th overall pick, the Russian defenseman spent seven seasons in Florida until he was traded to Buffalo in 2016. Seven years later, Kulikov returned to the Panthers and, in his first year, won the Stanley Cup with the team.

— How did you come to Florida after Pittsburgh?

— I signed the contract, I came and started playing (laughs).

— Was there a chance to change clubs?

—There were other options, but I didn’t want to move anywhere. Over the last six years, I’ve been all over the league. And I didn’t want to go anywhere except Florida.

— With what emotions did you return to the Panthers?

– Only positive, because we came home and the family was comfortable. I was also happy to be back in the team where I started.

— Has much changed in the organization itself and in the arena?

– Actually, a lot has changed. Previously, nobody wanted to attend some games; almost five thousand spectators came. And when they played against the Rangers or Toronto, the whole stadium was filled with fans.

Now everything has changed, there are many of our fans in the stands. There is a lot of advertising in the city, people recognize it outside the stadium. The management of the organization has been completely renewed. Many things have changed, but for the better.

— Matthew Tkachuk said after the 2023 Stanley Cup Final that players are now in Florida to win games, not to live a good life. Do you sense similar shifts in mentality?

“At the beginning of my career, I didn’t pay attention to it. Older guys actually signed contracts with Florida to finish their careers here and stay alive. But that hasn’t happened for several years. Life here is still comfortable, but you also have to prove that you deserve to play for the club. You can combine business with pleasure: live a good life and win at the same time. It’s clear that we’re here to win matches. But if you come to give 100%, to put all your strength into the team’s success, why can’t you rest?” Kulikov told .

Find the full version of Dmitry Kulikov’s interview soon on the website!

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Source : MatchTV

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