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?
Eichel To Vegas Rumors Heating Up
- Vegas: Jack Eichel has to undergo neck surgery or rehab to be ready for next season, but according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Vegas Golden Knights have emerged as suitors.
- Pittsburgh: Has anyone heard anything about the Penguins? Are the Pittsburgh Penguins “in” on anybody?
- Boston: Hello, Vladimir Tarasenko? The Boston Bruins have been big-game hunting for a year. Would the rebuilt Tarasenko work in Beantown?
- NYI: Tarasenko wants out. Would the New York Islanders be interested? The juice isn’t worth the squeeze for the Islanders.
- Washington: The Capitals are an NHL place with heavy Russian influence. So how about a Kuznetsov for Tarasenko deal?
- Detroit: The Red Wings have $27 million in salary-cap space to spend and they could create more, too. It’s buyout season, and Steve Yzerman could buy out one defenseman and one forward soon.
- Will the Colorado Avalanche buy out defenseman Erik Johnson?
- San Jose: Sheng Peng continued his conversation with hockey data scientist Patrick Bacon. An interesting story, especially for analytics-curious folks. The Sharks are headed in the wrong direction–how would he turn them around?
- Florida: Happy Birthday, Florida Hockey Now. Congrats, George Richards. FHN turned one year old, and here’s the plan for year 2.