A New York Islanders fan trolled the Tampa Bay Lightning for their salary cap at Game 4 of 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, one Islanders fan decided they would create a sign to get in the head of the Lightning. And yes, it had to do with their salary cap.
During Game 4, ESPN ‘s Greg Wyshynski spotted a fan holding up a sign with the caption “$18 million?” with logos of the Lightning and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pasted on the piece of poster board.
Islanders fan trolls Lightning for their salary cap management
The financial figure became a well-known number after Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton pointed out that the Lightning were $18 million over the $81.5 million league salary cap threshold after they were defeated in five games in the second round. In the link above, Hamilton says he did not mean for it to be meant as a shot directed at Tampa Bay or the league for the rules.
Tampa Bay were without winger Nikita Kucherov throughout the entire regular season after he underwent offseason hip surgery. Kucherov counted for $9.5 million against the cap for this campaign, but the Lightning received a long-term injury exemption from the league. The winger has since returned in time for the playoffs, where he has tallied 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in 14 games entering Saturday.
In the end, that Islanders fan had to be happy with the end result of Game 4. New York outlasted a late comeback attempt by Tampa Bay and secured a 3-2 win, thanks to a clutch stop by defenseman 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.