Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov to miss the season
December 23George KurtzSportsGrid
Nikita Kucherov will miss at least the regular season due to a hip injury. This is a monster injury for the Lightning and fantasy owners. Kucherov took a shot in his ailing hip just recently in the hope that it would alleviate the pain, but no such luck. Kucherov will need hip surgery, and his recovery timetable is unknown at this time, but the best-case scenario is a return for the playoffs in May. Kucherov is one of the best players in the NHL and a top-five fantasy draft pick. Kucherov has scored at least 30 goals in five straight seasons and has two seasons with at least 40 goals.
One piece of good news, if you’re an optimist, is that the Lightning were having cap issues, and now that Kucherov is out for the season, they can put him and his $9.5 million cap hit on long-term injured reserve. This will not only allow them to be cap compliant, but they were also able to sign Jan Rutta and Eric Cernak yesterday in anticipation of this move. The Lightning should also have the cap room now to sign Anthony Cirelli and may now want to keep Tyler Johnson rather than trade him.
The Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup champions and are currently +950 to raise the cup once again this season.
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