Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning Nuts & Bolts: Kucherov hopes to be reunited with a friend

Short shift w/ LW Joel Vermin

You play any other sports growing up in Switzerland? I always played soccer. Until I was 10, 11, then it was too much with hockey.

What's your favorite music? Before games I listen to dance and house music, but I listen to everything, R&B, hip-hop, rock.

Top movie? I really like Avatar.

Must-TiVo TV show? Big Bang Theory

Prized memorabilia? The puck from my first career point (an assist Nov. 19 versus the Rangers)

NHL idol as a kid? Joe Sakic. He was a superstar.

What was it like playing for former Lightning coach Guy Boucher for Bern in Switzerland? I was only there for a month, but I liked his ideas, a simple game, everything fit together. You don't have to think too much. He knows what he wants. In Bern, they really liked him. (Boucher was fired this month.)

The next Nikita

RW Nikita Kucherov (above) and good friend Nikita Gusev grew up playing together in Moscow with the same goal: to reach the NHL.

"It was our dream to be here," Kucherov, 22, said. "Now I'm here, I just want him to be here, too. It'll be nice to see him in a couple years, next year."

Gusev, 23, the Lightning's seventh-round draft pick in 2012, is playing in Russia for SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. Gusev, a 5-foot-9 wing, has 10 goals and 11 assists in 31 games split between St. Petersburg and Khanty-Mansiyk. Kucherov believes Gusev has the talent to play in the NHL.

"He will play here," Kucherov said. "He likes to carry the puck; he likes to make plays. He's got a good shot. The vision he has, it's something that … not that (many) players have. He's a big player."

The two talk often, with Kucherov's positive experience acclimating to life, and hockey, in North America likely a good example for Gusev. Kucherov scored 29 goals last season. He had six this season entering Saturday's game with the Islanders. Gusev, under contract in the KHL, would have to be signed to an entry-level deal with Tampa Bay and come to the United States.

"He needs a little time to adjust to hockey (here)," Kucherov said. "The first thing he needs to do is come here. All the other stuff will take care of itself."

From the fans

What's the difference between American and Canadian Thanksgiving?

D Braydon Coburn from Saskatchewan: I always felt like Christmas was a bigger deal in Canada and Thanksgiving is a bigger deal here. Same food — turkey, stuffing. It's in October (in Canada). I don't know if it coincides with the start of the shopping season, Black Friday, but I feel like people make a bigger deal out of Thanksgiving here.

Have a question for a Lightning player? Send it to beat writer Joe Smith on Twitter at @TBTimes_JSmith or email joesmith@tampabay.com. We'll answer one every Sunday.

Lightning Nuts & Bolts: Kucherov hopes to be reunited with a friend 11/27/15 [Last modified: Saturday, November 28, 2015 6:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  2. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Bucs journal: Bucs still high on Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Coach Dirk Koetter spent a lot of time before this year's draft evaluating RB Dalvin Cook. At one time, the Florida State star and former teammate of QB Jameis Winston was considered the player the Bucs most likely would draft 19th overall.

    Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook (33), a standout at Florida State, is third in the league in rushing after two games and fourth in average yards per game.
  4. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  5. Ryan Callahan: Brian Boyle will beat cancer diagnosis

    Blogs

    Ryan Callahan has been friends with Brian Boyle for a long-time, the two veterans playing together for seven years between the Rangers and the Lightning.