'Sometimes the stars align for you,' says Bolts GM on the team's cap situation.

Published June 12, 2021 at 4:07 PM

With the Tampa Bay Lightning's postseason success, attention has shifted to the team's current cap issue and the fact that they are $19 million over the cap maximum. Following the Carolina Hurricanes' second-round loss to the Bolts, defenseman Dougie Hamilton stated twice in a post-series interview that their opponents were well over the $81.5 million cap. When asked about it by The Athletic on Saturday, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois said everything was fine.

"I know (the NHL) investigated the Nikita Kucherov one, and we have to be able to justify the surgery, the rehab time, the return to play clearance to make sure that everything was done according to the rules and according to the circumstances and those were the cards we were dealt. And that's how we handled it," BriseBois said.

"Nikita has been able to come back and perform at a high level. When all of the decisions were made to know that Nikita needed surgery and then we had to decide whether to place him on long-term exemption for the season, I didn't know how things would unfold," he said. "Luckily for me and our organization, I don't think they could have unfolded any better. But at the time when I was looking at all the possible scenarios and all the possible outcomes, none of them were as good as this one. And there were a lot of ones that weren't very good. That's all I can say."

"Sometimes the stars align for you," BriseBois added.

Kucherov didn't play a game in the regular season this year, which allowed Tampa Bay to keep their roster intact without going over the cap, which can result in huge financial penalties. However, once the playoffs begin, the cap ceiling is out the window. That isn't sitting well with many fans who seem to feel the Lightning choreographed the whole thing. Kucherov himself has denied that.

"I didn't do it on purpose, obviously," Kucherov said "I had to do the surgery. I had to go through the whole five months of rehabilitation, and when the time came (when) I was ready to play, it was the playoffs."

June 12   |   179 answers
'Sometimes the stars align for you,' says Bolts GM on the team's cap situation.

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