Before we all collectively freak out and punch holes through our screens, let’s just take a deep breath and gather our thoughts.
On Friday night, Kevin Weekes reported that talks between the Minnesota Wild and rookie sensation Kirill Kaprizov have gone cold, regarding his necessary contract extension, and the forward is currently in Moscow with KHL interest hovering around the negotiations.
As of now talks with likely Rookie of the yr Kaprizov & @mnwild have gone cold. My understanding is he’s in Moscow and it’s believed CSKA is interested in signing him for KHL & Olympics. @NHL @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 18, 2021
With no basis around anything else, and no official statement or release from Paul Theofanous, Kaprizov’s agent, this has to be words directly from his mouth. It’s pure speculation, but agents for European stars without contracts always play this card. Trying to stir up interest overseas and hurry the NHL franchise into signing a contract, just in case they lose the player for nothing. It’s a cheap tactic but it happens.
That is what I want to believe is happening here, but we’ve seen crazier stuff happen just this season.
If that is not the case and this is true — well then, fuck.
The Wild finally have a player that is a cemented as their top offensive option and one of the most entertaining players in the league, and after one single year of brilliance — not even a full 82-game season — they float away without any contract holding them down to Minnesota.
Kaprizov is currently an RFA, but with a 10.2c status. In plain english, he has not played enough games to be a regular Group 2 RFA, meaning no other team can put in an offer sheet for him. The Wild are the only NHL team that can offer him a contract.
The Russian winger played his last three KHL seasons for CSKA Moscow, where he scored an absurd 153 points in 160 games.
This is certainly a developing story, but any gut instinct is that this is just copied and pasted straight from an agent’s email.
Michael Russo decided to chime in and provide some much-needed and expected context to this situation.
#mnwild & Kirill Kaprizov’s agent say Kaprizov is at a buddy’s wedding in Moscow. His agent gave the team a heads up.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 18, 2021
As for CSKA rumors, that’s his only option besides signing with the Wild and they’ll offer him a ton of $, so expect those rumors as long as he’s unsigned here
First, the fact that the agent and the team have this line of communication is a good thing in terms of negotiations — and certainly not “going cold” in any way. And as Russo mentions, the rumors surrounding the KHL; CSKA Moscow holds Kaprizov’s KHL rights, so that is the only team he can sign for and it just so happens to be the richest team in the league. They are essentially part of the Russian government by now.
These rumors will keep on happening, as they always do, but certainly the charm of winning a Stanley Cup is enough to stay in North America.