The Tampa Bay Lightning announced they have signed winger Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year contract extension. The deal is worth $76 million and carries a $9.5 million AAV. The deal is going to kick in after the 2018-19 season.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 10, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Nikita Kucherov
Kucherov was set to become a Restricted Free Agent after the 2018-19 season. Kucherov has established himself to be one of the leagues premier players last year, scoring 39 goals and 100 points in 2017-18. He finished third in league scoring, behind Connor McDavid and Claude Giroux.
The 25 year old has quickly become one of Tampa Bay’s best players. Since entering the league in 2013-14, he has set a torrid pace. He has scored 147 goals and 334 points in 366 games. Kucherov takes his game to another level in the playoffs. In 62 playoff games, Kucherov has 29 goals and 59 points.
In a released statement, Nikita Kucherov expressed his excitement of the extention.
“I’m truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for the next eight seasons today, I’d like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home”
The Kucherov extention means the Lightning have all their major core players signed long term. He joins Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and McDonagh as the long term core of the team. The Lightning have tied up $32.625 million in cap space to the four players beyond the 2019-20 season.
Dispite their tight salary cap, around $3.445 million in space, the team is also trying to wrangle future hall-of-fame defencemen Erik Karlsson away from the Ottawa Senators. Reports surfaced that a deal was imminent, but nothing official has been announced. Karlsson is looking for a contract extention of his own, as he is entering the finaly year of his deal. Karlsson is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1st, 2019.