A New York Islanders fan trolled the Tampa Bay Lightning for their salary cap in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals on Saturday.
The New York Islanders faithful were a bit disappointed after the team lost Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals to the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this week. But on Saturday, a fan of the Islanders decided they would create a sign to get inside the Lightning’s head. And yes, it had to do with his salary cap.
During Game 4, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski spotted a fan holding a sign reading “$ 18 million?” with Lightning and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) logos taped to the card stock.
Islanders fans check on Lightning for his salary cap management
The financial figure became a well-known number after Carolina Hurricane Defender Dougie Hamilton noted that the Lightning were $ 18 million over the league’s salary threshold of $ 81.5 million after they were defeated in five games in the second round. In the link above, Hamilton says he didn’t intend it to be a shot aimed at Tampa Bay or the league by the rules.
Tampa Bay was without winger Nikita Kucherov for the entire regular season after he underwent hip surgery in the offseason. Kucherov had $ 9.5 million against the cap for this season, but Lightning received a long-term injury exemption from the league. Since then, the winger has returned in time for the playoffs, where he has tallied 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in 14 games before Saturday.
In the end, that Islanders fan had to be happy with the end result of Game 4. New York survived a late comeback attempt from Tampa Bay and clinched a 3-2 victory. thanks to a clutch stop from defender Ryan Pulock with less than five seconds remaining in regulation.
Now the series is tied at two games apiece, and Game 5 will take place live in Tampa Bay on Monday night.