The Minnesota Wild has had a busy offseason, and it’s not about to get any easier for general manager Bill Guerin.
Last week, the Wild announced that the team will buy out the final four years of the contracts of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. Both players become unrestricted free agents today. By buying out the two veterans, the Will has another $10.33 million in cap space to play with this summer where Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala have to be re-signed.
However, it was also reported by team insider Michael Russo for The Athletic that Kaprizov recently turned down an eight-year deal worth $9 million annually. That’s a monster $72 million offer! The rookie apparently believes he is worth around $10 or $11 million annually, and is reportedly seeking a shorter deal, around 4 or 5 years.
Greg Wyshynski now describes that negotiations between the Wild and Kaprizov as “a deafening silence.”
While there is no real rush to re-sign Kaprizov as he can’t sign an offer sheet, it is believe that the rookie is using leverage from the KHL to get what he wants.
Kaprizov, who is back home in Russia at the moment, could stay there and could consider a return in the Kontinental Hockey League as CSKA is interested in signing him for KHL and the Olympics.
The Calder winner led rookies in goals (27), points (51), power-play goals (eight) and shots on goal (157) in 55 games. He was second in even-strength points (38) and power-play points (13) and was tied for third in plus/minus rating (plus-10). On top of that, he led Wild in goals, points, points per game (0.93) and overtime goals (two), and scored three game-winning goals. Kaprizov, who averaged 18:18 of ice time per game and had a shooting percentage of 17.2 percent, scored the most goals, assists and points by a rookie in Wild history.
We get why Wild fans are getting nervous…
Source: ESPN · Photo Credit: Zuma Press