TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 28: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and his teammates celebrate a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in Game One of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 28, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The goal was originally credited to Ondrej Palat but was later changed to Nikita Kucherov. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Say it isn’t so, but the Russian Sensation that has swept the Lightning Nation is on long-term injured reserve, meaning the star forward will miss at least the next 10 games and 24 days. Tampa has been feeling it as we took the loss against the Panthers 4-1 with a 0-for-6 showing on the power play. Steve Stamkos spoke after the game and wished Kuch the best but admit they need to adapt and overcome while he is out on the with the injury.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper didn’t give a set time on Kucherov’s return. He only indicated that it likely wouldn’t be like last season, when he missed the entire 56-game abbreviated regular season recovering from hip surgery. Furthermore, Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev believes that Kucherov will be back in time to play in the Olympics in early February.

Placing Kucherov on the long-term injured reserve provides the Lightning salary cap relief. Kucherov makes $9.5 million this season and carries a daily cap hit of $47,500, according to Cap Friendly.

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