The Minnesota Wild are painstakingly making their way through their busy summer and aside from the negotiations for a new contract for Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala’s new deal is the most important thing that they can do this offseason.
After some talks, the Wild did a rarity and opted for arbitration, making it a club-elected arbitration case instead of a player-elected, with the hearing scheduling for this Tuesday. The team and player can still come to an agreement before then, but more signs are pointing to the hearing taking place and a new short-term contract for Fiala.
Especially with the news we got over the weekend.
Other Fiala #mnwild nuggets: He chose a one-year term, so if arbitrator awards his salary, he’ll be restricted free agent again next year.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) August 15, 2021
Two sides can keep talking ‘til Tuesday’s hearing. Because of COVID-19, hearing will be held virtually rather than in person
Other than the really nonconsequential briefs on the arbitration case, this is the juicy stuff. Fiala and his camp had the option to choose a one or two-year deal, because it was club-elected arbitration, and has now reportedly chosen a single year contract for 2021-22. As Michael Russo mentions, this will keep Fiala in restricted free agency next summer, having to go through it all again if they don’t come to an agreement.
If Fiala went with the two-year option, he would then walk right to unrestricted free agency after that contract expired. Opting for the single year gives Minnesota more opportunity to sign him to a long-term deal, as well as potentially giving Fiala maximum earning power if he went for another one-year contract next summer with a raise. It can go either way from here.
No matter what the future holds, one of the Wild’s top offensive talents will be under contract for a single year with a cap hit decided by the arbitrator on Tuesday. After that, it’s just Kaprizov left and then we can start thinking about training camp.