By Stephen, AP Hockey writer
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucharov is expected to survive the entire regular season due to a hip injury that requires surgery.
General Manager Julian Brisbois began a 56-game run on Wednesday on Kucherov, which begins January 13 and ends on May 8. Kucherov played through a groin injury in the playoffs to help the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in late September. He complained of a hip problem in early December.
The loss of the 2019 NHL MVP and leading scorer from the 2020 playoffs is a major setback for the defending champions, but they will be able to use long-term injury relief from Kucherov’s $ 9.5 million sail-cap hit, making his final The key will be restricted. Free agent, center Anthony Cirelli. BriseBois said there was an outline of a contract with Cirelli in Tampa Bay.
The 27-year-old Kucherov had 34 points to score seven goals and the NHL bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. He led the league with 128 points in the 2018–19 season to earn Heart Trophy honors.
The Lightning are making news of a bad injury by signing others this week. On Tuesday, he re-signed Eric Cernak to an $ 8.85 million, three-year deal and brought back fellow defenseman Jan Ruta for $ 2.6 million over two years. On Wednesday, he re-signed Matthew Joseph for two years for $ 1.475 million and Alex Volkov for $ 700,000 this season.
Without Kucherov’s injury, Tampa Bay would likely need to trade a key player under a salary cap of $ 81.5 million which is flat in light of the epidemic. The team hired Weyers in October to give veteran Tyler Johnson a $ 5 million rebate from his books, but he was unclaimed by the league’s other 30 teams.
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