In the wake of their series defeat to the Tampa Bay Lighting, Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton took a backhanded shot at the victors.
“We had a great season. We lost to a team that’s $18 million over the cap, or whatever they are,” Hamilton remarked about losing to Tampa. I don’t have a problem with it,” Hamilton finished. “You just realize how good that team was.”
To be fair, Hamilton had a point.
This season, the Lightning were almost $17 million over the cap. A large chunk of that was used up by Nikita Kucherov who spent the entire regular season on LTIR. The $9.5 million relief was used by Tampa to retain two key RFA’s in Anthony Cirelli and Mikael Sergachev to start the season.
Tampa didn’t stop there.
With other injuries to players like Steven Stamkos, they went out and acquired David Savard at the deadline to boost their defense. A perfect “storm” if you will my Canes fans.
When Kucherov started practicing back in March some GMs were up in arms behind closed doors asking who is monitoring the situation. “They are obliged to make room for him or in theory they can’t use him. Which, again in theory, could affect his playoff availability,” Pierre Lebrun tweeted. “Call me naive but I don’t think the Cup champs are playing around with this. The league is watching.”