The one thing left for the Minnesota Wild to do this summer before taking the ice is inching closer to a resolution. While the contract talks are still some ways apart with restricted free agent Kirill Kaprizov, some good news was announced on Monday when the KHL’s CSKA Moscow announced their roster for their 2021-22 season.
Kaprizov was nowhere near it, and thus, will not be playing overseas this summer.
A contract doesn’t sound imminent, but the good news on the Kirill Kaprizov contract talks with the #mnwild, there’s been a lot of conversation lately between the Wild and the Calder Trophy winner’s side. Also, CSKA Moscow has publicly stated he’s not playing there this season.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) August 23, 2021
The only team that Kaprizov can play hockey for next season is the Minnesota Wild.
Michael Russo of The Athletic also mentions that conversations are still taking place as we approach the final weeks of the offseason before training camp begins. Earlier, there were also reports that Wild GM Bill Guerin has abandoned his effort to sign the 24-year-old gifted winger to a long-term deal and is beginning to settle for a new contract that is anywhere between four and six years. With Kaprizov potentially earning his free agency rights after three seasons, any of those options would be buying those precious UFA seasons.
Currently, the Wild have over $13 million in cap space with 20 players (12 forwards, 6 defenseman, and 2 netminders) signed to their NHL roster. That doesn’t even include the potential injection of high-end prospects Marco Rossi, Matt Boldy, and Calen Addison. So they have the room to sign Kaprizov, but the cap really tightens up when the buyout penalties of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter increase from approximately $5 million to $12.5 million starting next season and continuing to rise, with the combined hits going up to over $14.5 million for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons. It’s those years that will be difficult, but right now Minnesota is in the clear to sign and still have ample cap room.
We’ll see where things go from here, but all we can hope for is that it gets done and over with before training camp begins. Please just do the thing.