The trouble with signing Kucherov to a deal with such bountiful short-term benefits is the long-term cost. What could have been a long-term deal with a $6-7M cap hit two summers ago is now going to be much, much worse for the Lightning. Kucherov's continued meteoric rise to stardom means that he will be able to command a tremendous amount of wealth on his next contract.
Still, there seems to be some underlying theory in Tampa hockey circles that, because Steven Stamkos took less and signed for $8.5M per season on his deal, Kucherov will do the same and come in around that same number. With each passing day, that idea sounds more and more ridiculous. In a league where stars are being paid big dollars earlier and earlier in their careers, the notion that Kucherov will settle below $8.5M because someone else did seems far-fetched. Especially after the way his last contract negotiation went.
The question, then, is this: Could Nikita Kucherov get Connor McDavid money?