We are getting close folks. At the beginning of September, Wild insider Michael Russo for The Athletic got us excited when he claimed that the team and restricted free agent Kirill Kaprizov were very close to an agreement on a hefty contract.
Russo believed the Wild “compromised on term, pretty much at 5-years.” He also reported that he thinks “money is pretty close in $9M AAV range.
But then, nothing.
Wild GM Bill Guerin didn’t exactly hide his disappointment when asked about Kaprizov earlier this week and made a particular point in saying that once training camp starts, the team will turn its focus elsewhere. In other words, if you’re not going to be part of this team we’ll move on without you. This got fans in Minnesota quite nervous, and it might have worked on Kaprizov too.
Now, Russo reports that the Wild is closing in on re-signing the talented forward thanks to productive talks in recent days.
The Calder winner led rookies in goals (27), points (51), power-play goals (eight) and shots on goal (157) in 55 games. He was second in even-strength points (38) and power-play points (13) and was tied for third in plus/minus rating (plus-10). On top of that, he led Wild in goals, points, points per game (0.93) and overtime goals (two), and scored three game-winning goals. Kaprizov, who averaged 18:18 of ice time per game and had a shooting percentage of 17.2 percent, scored the most goals, assists and points by a rookie in Wild history.
Fans want to see him back and probably hope that he now decides to compromise in order to get a deal in place fast.
While he could miss some of the training camp, if he signs soon as Russo hints to, the Wild won’t be without him for the season opener.