Both players have four years remaining on their 13-year contract they signed all the way back in the summer of 2012. They will both be immediately free agents on Tuesday, and are able to sign with any other team this summer on brand new contracts.
For the players, they will be getting a $6.7-million paycheck for the next four years, while the team will be dinged with $2.371 million, $6.371 million and $7.371 million cap hits in the next four years for each player, then two individual $833,333 cap hits the four years after that.
This signals a massive change in the Wild locker room and the leadership core. Moving on from their two prized free agents and letting them play somewhere else will give the Wild some cap room and ability to protect players like Matt Dumba and Jordan Greenway in the upcoming expansion draft.
“Zach and Ryan have been an integral part of the Wild’s success over the past nine years and we’ll always be grateful for their many contributions,” said Wild GM Bill Guerin in the team’s statement. “There were numerous factors that entered into the difficult decision to buy out their contracts, but primarily these moves are a continuation of the transformation of our roster aimed at the eventual goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”
Guerin flexes this financial muscle, getting rid of two significantly large contracts that former GM Chuck Fletcher controversially signed.
“I want to thank Zach and Ryan for everything they did for our organization over the past nine seasons, both on and off the ice,” said Wild owner Craig Leipold. “They were tremendous ambassadors for our team and helped us win a lot of games. I wish them nothing but the best going forward.”