Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin has been terribly busy lately and things are only getting busier with time running out. On Tuesday, he announced that the team will buy out the final four years of the contracts of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. Both players will become unrestricted free agents on July 28.
The Wild will pay each $6.7 million over the next eight years and be charged with $2.371 million, $6.371 million, $7.371 million and $7.371 million cap hits in the next four years, respectively, for each, then $833,333 cap hits the four years after that for each. By buying out the two veterans, the Will will have another $10.33 million in cap space to play with this summer where Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala have to be re-signed and the team could be pursuing a No. 1 center.
However, some pundits are wondering if the Wild will even manage to re-sign the rookie of the year as reports came out that Kaprizov turned down a massive offer from Minnesota.
According to team insider Michael Russo for The Athletic, Kaprizov has turned down an eight-year deal worth $9 million annually. That’s a monster $72 million offer!
It was added that the rookie believes he is worth around $10 or $11 million annually, and is reportedly seeking a shorter deal, around 4 or 5 years.
This refusal gets added to rumours that had already emerged, stating that Kaprizov, who is back home in Russia at the moment, could stay there and could consider a return in the Kontinental Hockey League as CSKA is interested in signing him for KHL and the Olympics.
However, Guerin maintains that negotiations are still underway and we bet he is hoping that today’s moves involving both Parise and Suter will help.
“It’s just an ongoing process,” Guerin said last week. “Sometimes, it takes three days. Sometimes, it takes three months. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just part of the process. I’m confident we’ll get a deal done at some point.”
Kaprizov, who won Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year this season, can become a restricted free agent July 28. He 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.
We get why Guerin is doing everything he can to keep Kaprizov in Minnesota for seasons to come.