Lightning F Nikita Kucherov (hip) to miss regular season

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov will miss the upcoming regular season with a hip injury, general manager Julien BriseBois said Wednesday.

The four-time All-Star will have surgery next week and the team is hopeful he can return for the playoffs to help defend the Stanley Cup.

“Nobody loves playing hockey more than Nikita Kucherov. I know how hard he’ll work to get back as soon as possible,” BriseBois said.

Significant setback for Lightning

Kucherov, 27, registered 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 68 games during the 2019-20 regular season and added 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 25 playoff games.

Nikita Kucherov
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

He won the Hart Memorial Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award in 2018-19 after scoring a career-high 41 goals and leading the league in assists (87) and points (128).

A second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, Kucherov has 547 points (221 goals, 326 assists) in 515 career games since making his debut in 2013.

Kucherov signed an eight-year, $76 million contract extension in July 2018, an annual cap hit of $9.5 million for the Lightning.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)