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Report: Talks ‘intensifying’ between Bolts and Kucherov, likely a bridge deal coming

Detroit Red Wings v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 16: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning is checked by Danny DeKeyser #65 of the Detroit Red Wings in front of Petr Mrazek #34 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 16, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

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Nikita Kucherov hasn’t signed yet, but according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, he’s “likely” to suit up for the Lightning on Thursday when they open their regular season at home to Detroit.

McKenzie reported this morning that negotiations between Kucherov and the Bolts have been “intensifying.” The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent. It’s probable, says McKenzie, that it’s a bridge deal, as opposed to a long-term contract.

Tampa Bay has less than $6 million in cap space at the moment, per General Fanager.

Related: Yzerman thinks he can get Kucherov signed without making a trade first