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Duffer’s Dabbles: Kucherov FaceTimes Larionov, Lightning Cost-Cutting Rumors, Tarasenko, Eichel trade talk



Nikita Kucherov drinking
Shortly after his epic press conference, Nikita Kucherov sent a FaceTime message to Igor Larionov

Nikita Kucherov’s post-Stanley Cup win Zoom media conference is already the stuff of legend, but it was a private discussion between Tampa Bay Lightning star Kucherov and a Russian hockey legend in the hours following their Stanley Cup win that might be of interest to Detroit Red Wings fans.

Kucherov sent a FaceTime message to former Wings forward Igor Larionov. According to a tweet posted by Larionov’s son Igor Larionov II, when his dad answered his phone, Kucherov shouted “you’re my idol, thank you” six times in quick succession.

Interestingly, Larionov was part of the Red Wings team that won 62 games in 1995-96 but didn’t win the Cup, followed by two straight Stanley Cup triumph. Kucherov’s Lightning won 62 games in 2018-19 and didn’t win the Cup. They’ve won two titles in a row since.

  • The Lightning have cap issues. The Red Wings have cap space. Seems like a marriage worthy of an NHL trade rumor. With just 19 players signed for next season, Tampa Bay is already $5 million over the expected NHL salary cap of $81.5 million. Among NHL teams, only the incoming expansion Seattle Kraken currently hold more cap space than the Red Wings. No one outside the Lightning organization knows their personnel better than Wings GM Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay’s former GM. Could Yzerman mine that knowledge, combined with Tampa Bay’s financial predicament, to get the Wings some help from the Stanley Cup champions?

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