According to reports out of Russia, Nikita Kucherov has received a contract offer from CSKA Moscow of the KHL, though the two parties are not engaged in ongoing talks.
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) September 8, 2016
Kucherov is a restricted free agent and the final item on Tampa Bay’s extensive offseason laundry list. After a very busy summer – which included re-signing Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn, Vladislav Namestnikov and stud defenseman Victor Hedman – general manager Steve Yzerman and Kucherov’s camp haven’t been able to agree on terms. Speculation has run rampant on reasons why, with most signs pointing to salary as the biggest road block.
Prior to this afternoon’s report from Igor Eronko, there has been no other indication that Kucherov may end up signing in his native Russia. And even with today’s report, it sounds as if CSKA threw a hail mary in an attempt to lure one of the more exciting players in professional hockey to the KHL.
#tblightning Yzerman said he's "hopeful" to have Nikita Kucherov (+ Nesterov) signed by time they return from World Cup. "That's the goal."
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) September 8, 2016
In other words, Lightning fans have no reason to be concerned, sans further reports that Kucherov is indeed entertaining the thought of leaving the NHL. If that were to happen, however, CSKA does own his KHL rights.
Last season, Kucherov tallied 30 goals and 66 total points in 77 games for Tampa Bay, then added 11 goals and 19 points in 17 playoff games. He finished sixth in scoring throughout the postseason, tied with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.