Last week it was reported that the Minnesota Wild’s bid to sign KHL superstar Kiril Kaprizov had been dashed by the NHL.
For the uninitiated, Wild fans have been waiting for Kaprizov to make the jump from Russia to North America since his breakout season in 2016-17. The problem is that the young Russian sniper was locked up to a three year contract by CSKA Moscow following a 20 goal, 42 point campaign in just 49 games. Since then Kaprizov has gone on to establish himself as one of the KHL’s top players and has put up a combined 113 goals and 230 points in 293 career KHL games. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Well… with Kaprizov’s contract finally expiring on April 30th, this was to be the spring that the Wild finally added him to their roster. Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything is up in the air.
According to multiple reports, teams cannot sign players for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Any signings made will go into effect during the 2020-21 season, similar to the Montreal Canadiens’ signing of Russian defenseman Alexander Romanov.
Wild insider Michael Russo of The Athletic is reporting that the NHL denied the Wild’s request to have Kaprizov join their roster once the season resumes.
Check it out:
The NHL informed the Wild that there is likely “zero chance” that Kaprizov will be permitted to make his NHL debut this summer if the 2019-20 season resumes, an NHL source told *The Athletic.*
For what it’s worth, Wild GM Bill Guerin seems a bit bewildered with the entire scenario, but he isn’t giving up hope on getting Kaprizov under contract.
“We’re still just status quo,” Guerin said earlier this week. “Not much has really changed and there is still time for us to get him signed.”
“I understand the anticipation of Kirill, and him getting signed, but this is just one of those things that’s gonna take a little bit of time. Would I have liked this done three weeks ago? Sure, I would have liked this done three years ago. But this is an unusual situation, and had things gone the way they normally would have, without coronavirus, things probably would have been different.”
So… can you get him into a Wild jersey for the playoffs?
“To be honest, I don’t know. It doesn’t really look like [he’d be eligible to play this season],” Guerin said. “But I don’t want to put words in anybody’s mouth or make a call that hasn’t been finalized. We’re just taking it day-by-day with him and wait.”
“I think Kirill is actually being really smart in taking his time, going through the process and making sure he’s going through the right steps,” Guerin said. “I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Hey… Wild fans have waited 3 years, what’s another year tacked on?