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Lightning ink RW Kucherov to 8-year extension

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the signing of star right wing Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year extension worth $9.5 million annually on Tuesday.

Kucherov has one season remaining on his current contract at a roughly $4.8 million cap hit and would have been a restricted free agent next summer.

His new deal runs through the 2026-27 season and carries a total value of $76 million.

“I’m truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for another eight seasons,” Kucherov said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home.”

Kucherov, 25, is coming off his first 100-point campaign. He had 39 goals and 61 assists in 80 games for the Lightning and finished sixth in the vote for the Hart Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s most valuable player.

Kucherov added 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 17 playoff games before the Lightning were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Kucherov led all Tampa Bay forwards in average ice time last season (19:49).

Kucherov scored 40 goals and 45 assists in 74 games in 2016-17. For his career, the 2011 second-round pick has 146 goals and 187 assists in 365 games.

–Field Level Media

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