Tampa Bay Lightning News: Nikita Kucherov, Nesterov Deal, And More

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Take a closer look at some of the top Tampa Bay Lightning headlines making their way around the Bolts Nation right now.

The moment Tampa Bay Lightning fan have been waiting for with bated breath is finally almost upon us. In just 13 more days, the Lightning will be taking the ice at the Amalie Arena for the first official puck drop of the 2016-17 season.

Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning don’t have a new banner to add to the rafters this season. On the bright side, there are still plenty of reasons for the Bolts Nation to cheer. The team has locked up some of their integral players for the long term, the team is mostly intact from their successful postseason run, and the team will be welcoming home a fan favorite in just a couple of weeks.

Of course, the off-season has been a rather tumultuous one for the Tampa Bay Lightning. There was plenty of drama to be had; especially when it came to re-signing some of the Lightning’s most valuable players. The first name on that list was Lightning captain Steven Stamkos.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

The good news is, once the organization was able to sign Stamkos to a mutually-beneficial eight-year contract extension, all of the other pieces to the puzzle seemed to fall into place. Well…all but one.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, who was the team’s leading point-scorer in the 2015-16 season, has yet to be inked to a new deal for the upcoming 2016-17 season. This is something Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman said he hoped to achieve upon his return from the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

All of Kucherov’ teammates who joined him at the international tournament have returned to the Sunshine State and made their way to the Lightning’s yearly Training Camp. All but Kucherov. It seems as if we won’t be seeing any of the Russian sniper until a new deal is in place. (Bolts By The Bay)

As many Tampa Bay Lightning fans are aware of by now, the Lightning’s preseason is in full swing. Later on tonight, the Bolts are set to embark on their first road trip of the preseason as they travel to the PNC Arena to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Bolts are currently 1-1-0 in the preseason having dropped their first preseason game to the Carolina Hurricanes at the Amalie Arena on Tuesday night. Needless to say, the Lightning will be looking for a little redemption when they take the ice tonight. Tampa Bay Lightning Beat Writer Bryan Burns takes a closer look at how things could play out tonight in Raleigh. (Tampa Bay Lightning)

A little earlier on we mentioned the Lightning would be welcoming home a fan favorite early on in the season. Most Tampa Bay Lightning fans have already heard the good news the team will be honoring former captain Vincent Lecavalier on October 18th at the Amalie Arena.

The Lightning will be taking on their in-state rivals, the Florida Panthers. There has been no word as of yet what this welcoming home celebration will entail, but the one thing we know for sure is this is something we wouldn’t want to miss for the world. The only thing that could get us this excited would be if the team elected to retire his jersey, but that’s another conversation for another day. (Bolts By The Bay)

The Tampa Bay Lightning had a pretty crazy off-season thus far. Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman had a stack of contracts on his desk that were in need of signing and in perfect Yzerman form, most of them have already been completed.

One of the most recent transactions was the re-signing for Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov. Fresh off his stint at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey as a representative of Team Russia, the Lightning organization was able to sign Nesterov to a one-year contract extension. Now, if the team can just get the other Nikita to sign on the dotted line, the team will be in pretty good shape. (Tampa Bay Lightning)

The off-season is about to come to a close, and while fans are happy to see the return of hockey, there is still plenty of unrest surrounding the Nikita Kucherov contract situation. On the bright side, Yzerman still has plenty of time to get the job done.

Next: Nikita Kucherov Refuses To Report To Training Camp

At the same time, the longer he is away from the ice, the less time the team has to build the chemistry necessary to be successful early on in the season. Only time will tell how the situation will ultimately play out, but for now, we rest easy knowing if there is anyone in the NHL with the expertise to get the job done, it’s Steve Yzerman.