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Panthers, Sabres swap Kulikov, Pysyk and picks

Good morning hockey fans! It's Day 2 of the NHL draft and we have a trade to announce.

The Florida Panthers acquired Mark Pysyk plus pick No. 38 and No. 89 in this year's draft from the Buffalo Sabres for Dmitry Kulikov and pick No. 33. 

Prior to the start of the draft, the Sabres were rumored to be in the hunt for defenseman. They got one in the left-handed shooting Kulikov at a hefty cap hit of $4.33-million. After this coming season, he'll be an unrestricted free agent. Should GM Tim Murray resign both restricted free agents Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres defensive group will have the always desirable three left-handed and three right-handed shots. 

Kulikov was a first round pick of the Panthers in 2009 at 14th overall. This past season, he played 74 games for the Panthers; scoring 1 goal and 16 assists. Per Corsica, his score adjusted 5-on-5 Corsi-for was 47.89% 

With pick No. 33, the Sabres selected center Rasmus Asplund of Farjestad (Sweden).

As for Florida, Pysyk carries a $1.125-million cap hit and is an RFA after this season. Pysyk is an insurance policy on the blueline in case veteran Brian Campbell does not return to the team. According to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel the Panthers want to bring the 37-year-old vet back but he wants to test the market. Also departing from the Panthers' blue line is Willie Mitchell who is likely to retire after missing 42 games last season due to concerns over the long term repercussions of another head injury. With a massive raise for Aaron Ekblad looming over Florida, the cheaper Pysyk gives the team some breathing room.

Pysyk was selected in the first round of the 2010 draft by Buffalo at 23rd overall. He played 55 games with the Sabres, scoring 1 goal and 10 assists with 32 penalty minutes. He missed 22 games dues to a lower body injury.

Florida picked left wing Adam Mascherin of the Kitchener Rangers with the 38th pick and defenseman Linus Nassen of Lulea of the Sweden junior league. 

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Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD.

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