On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning caught everyone by surprise by announcing an extension for franchise player Nikita Kucherov, one that will pay $9.5 million per year over the next 8 seasons. The deal will keep the electric winger in Tampa through the spring of 2027. The response from the fan base was understandably joyous.
Nikita Kucherov is great. He was in the Hart trophy conversation this year. He should have been in it last year too but the Lightning’s disappointing season kept him from being a serious candidate. We could run through a litany of stats to establish his greatness: he scored 100 points this season; he’s been an elite play driver in both shots and expected goals during his career in Tampa.