I don't think people realize how bad the Wild's cap situation is over the next 3 seasons. Lots of player with no-moves and an added 12.5 million in dead cap for 22' (14.5 Million in 23' & 24). The forward group for next year will have 7 of the 12 starters making 2 million or less. The D has been invested in heavily with not a lot to show for it. I have a hard time believing Spurg would have commanded the money and term he received on the open market along with a no-move. 5 more year of Sprug at 7.5 million is tough to swallow. Maybe he does the LTIR thing towards the end. If the playoffs from last year are any indication of that top 4 plays in those situations that a major concern. They will need to be a focal point not just average. I think Dumba gets juicy 4 year $4 million AAV extension during this season making the cap equation even more difficult. As of right now the situation is bad but in 23'-24' it could be even worse as the dead money goes up and you have to give Boldy a bridge deal. Free agency is going to be about bargain buys and moving players with high cap over the next few seasons. Really sad as our window was starting to open. Bringing in a free agent centre to play with 97 would have been so much fun. Now it's only only a pipe dream.
They will have 1 year before Kirill becomes a free agent after the dead money. I would expect that to be a next really good team. With Kirill the Wild will always be okay because he's a stud, but these next 3 seasons are going to have rough spots. Playing at a 15-17% disadvantage is going to be so difficult. The Predators are expected to invest heavily next year, the Blues look solid, Colorado has McKinnion, and Dallas's future looks promising. If things go south the Wild could be hanging with Chicago and Arizona.
If BG aces the Fiala trade and somehow gets 2 impactful players on ELC's over the next 3 seasons we might be okay, but that's a big ask. Such a crucial trade for this teams future.
I can only dream of a top 6 consisting of
Kirill - Malkin - Zucc
Boldy - Rossi - Fiala