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Possible Kucherov Injury Could Solve Lightning Cap Issues

If Nikita Kucherov is out long-term with a hip injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning have solved their salary cap issues in the worst possible way.

Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lighting

According to reports on Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning may have just solved their salary cap issues. Only, it’s not in the way the team would have liked and it’s certainly not a win for the organization.

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As per a report by Elliotte Friedman, the Lightning’s cap issues may be solved by LTIR. Word out of Tampa on Monday is that superstar Nikita Kucherov is battling a hip injury that may keep him out awhile. Details are sketchy and there’s no real word or clarity being provided by his agent but additional news should drop this week. What does seem to be confirmed is that if Kucherov is unable to play, it will clear room for the Lightning to get the other RFA’s signed since his $9.5 million will come off the books.

Someone wrote on Friedman’s timeline, “how convenient” after reading the report of the news and Friedman responded, “Yeah, I gotta tell ya….I bet TB would rather have the player. Sources say Kucherov is kinda good.”

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is covering the story as well and writes:

Told that Kucherov got a hip shot last week. Now apparently it’s about seeing how he reacts to it and feels. If he’s fine, then it’s all good. But if he feels discomfort? Could be LTIR. We shall see.

Nikita Kucherov Steven Stamkos Lightning
Nikita Kucherov Steven Stamkos Lightning

Let the Conspiracy Theories Begin

It seems possible to argue that there’s something going on here even if it’s not likely. Some will suggest that this is fishy and that the league and other teams will ultimately suffer if Kucherov magically heals in time for Game 1 of the playoffs – when there is no cap. But, there is one way to solve this… get an outside medical opinion.

That said, why would the Lightning try to make a go of their season without their best player? The conspiracy theorists seem to be forgetting that it’s not an overall win for the team if they end up trading Kucherov for the season just to keep a couple of players that aren’t as productive.

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