PuckDaddy- At 8:48 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nikita Annette Franklin was born, named after forward Nikita Kucherov.
How did Laine and Eric Franklin land on Nikita as a name for their daughter? While attending a game last season, Laine informed Eric that she was pregnant. Jokingly, Eric told her that they should name the child after the Lightning player who scored the first goal in that game. Sure enough, it was Kucherov.
"I didn't think she (Laine) was actually going to do it," said Eric Franklin, a 28-year-old Web developer. "But she ended up wanting the name more than I did.”
The couple went back and forth over whether they were really going to name their first child after a hockey player.
”We weren't sure about the name at first," said Laine Franklin, 26, a teacher at Hunters Green Elementary School. "But it worked out, and we love it for her."
That's just fate right there. Almost had no choice but to name their child after Nikita Kucherov. Would have been a slap in the face to the higher power that made sure the person on the team that scored the all important goal that eventually resulted in the naming of a little baby girl had a perfectly feminine first name.
Something tells me this deal would have been long forgotten if Vladislav Namestnikov lit the lamp. Might have done a little extra scouring through baby names on the internet if Ondrej Palat had the hot hand that fateful night. Have to consider themselves pretty lucky that Slater Koekkoek didn't randomly find the back of the net for the first time all season or they would have had to do that thing where they look each other in the eyes and silently agree never to speak of their "agreement" ever again.
I guess the odds of giving their child a gender appropriate name were considerably higher given that the Lightning have two rostered Nikita's, but you have to imagine that the Dad agreed to this hoping it would inspire the birth of a son. Pretty cool consolation prize to be able to name your daughter after a hockey player with a bright future within the organization though. Especially when her birth certificate should leave her predisposed to thinking of a night out at Amalie Arena to see her namesake as quality Daddy/Daughter bonding time.