If there's one thing the hockey world knows about Bob, it's that he won't go live with that sort of report unless he has a substantive reason to do so. In short, there is tremendous reason for optimism if you're a fan of Kucherov and the Lightning.Negotiations intensifying between TB and Nikita Kucherov. Not yet a "done deal," but it's likely Kucherov will be in TB opener on Thurs.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 10, 2016
The second part of Bob's report is that any deal for Kucherov will likely be a bridge deal due to Tampa's cap constraints:
This, of course, is something I discussed at length in a blog post earlier in the month. The conclusion of my "investigation" was that a bridge deal doesn't put Kucherov in a loss position from a dollars and cents perspective when compared to signing a long-term deal now. In fact, depending on how his post-bridge contracts are structured, he could wind up in a better position. The argument that a bridge deal is unfair to the player is patently false.TB cap crunch wouldn't allow Kucherov to get fair value ($6M++) long-term (5-7 yr) deal. Bridge doesn't just make sense, it's only option.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 10, 2016
In conclusion, if and when Kucherov signs, just remember to thank your friendly neighborhood blogger:
Here's hoping we see Number-86 in the lineup this week and for many years to come.Let's all pretend an impasse over term ended when Kucherov's agent came across @MikeStuartTLL's recent musing: https://t.co/DIg9iu5IOs— Mike Gallimore (@mikegallimore) October 10, 2016
As always, thanks for reading.