Connect with us

NHL News

Nikita Kucherov Will Miss Entire 2020-21 NHL Regular Season

General manager Julien BriseBois announced that forward Nikita Kucherov will have hip surgery miss the entire 2020-21 regular season.

Well, there’s a reason the Tampa Bay Lightning have been busy signing players over the past 24 hours. General manager Julien BriseBois announced on Wednesday that forward Nikita Kucherov will have hip surgery and will not play in the entire 2020-21 regular season.

Related: Lightning Sign Cernak and Rutta to New Multi-Year Contracts

“Unfortunately, [he] has a hip injury that will require surgery…. that means he will not be available to play this upcoming regular season.” BriseBois said. It’s brutal news but it frees up all the cap space the Lightning will need to move forward with the season. $9.5 M in cap savings will come from moving him to LTIR but it comes at the expense of losing your best offensive player.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes, “While Kucherov on LTIR will take pressure of BriseBois cap-wise, I still believe he makes another move as well.”

Could Be Back for Playoffs

The surgery will be performed next week and the hope is he’ll be ready for the playoffs. The assumption will be that Tampa is still a deep enough team to get to the playoffs without their best offensive player. In 2019-20, Kucherov had 33 goals and 85 points in 68 regular season games. During the Lightning’s Stanley Cup run, he posted seven goals and 34 points in 25 games.

There has been no comment from team/agent at this point so further details are a bit sketchy beyond the comments from the Lightning GM. Clarity is expected this week and we’ll have more information as it becomes available.

Even with the news that Kucherov will hit long-term injury reserve, the team still only has about $3.5 million in cap space to sign restricted free agent center Anthony Cirelli. It is likely more moves are still coming for the Lightning in the next two weeks.  

Next: Expectations for Leafs Prospect Rodion Amirov at 2021 World Juniors

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News