.Kucherov, 25, is coming off a career year in which he finished third in the NHL with 100 points, compiling 39 goals and 61 assists. The two-time All-Star is on the last year of his bridge deal and was set to become a restricted free agent after next season, so roughly $4.7 million will remain his cap hit for the upcoming campaign. The $76-million extension will take effect in 2019-20.
“I’m truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for another eight seasons,” Kucherov said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home.”
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 10, 2018
Tampa Bay now has Kucherov, captain Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, J.T. Miller, Tyler Johnson and Ryan McDonagh all signed through at least the 2021-22 season. That is a damn good core of players to have under contract.
This important extension of one of the best wingers in the sport will take the Tampa Bay Lightning out of the Erik Karlsson sweepstakes either.
Extending Nikita Kucherov does not take #TBLightning out of the Erik Karlsson trade talks. Quite the opposite; it gives them more certainty about their future.
Word is they continue to engage outside teams on a potential three-way deal with OTT.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 10, 2018
Adding a player like Erik Karlsson to this mix would certainly be scary for everyone in the NHL. Regardless, Tampa Bay must be considered a Stanley Cup contender. When making any fantasy hockey decisions, these Lightning players must top your lists.