In case you've not heard, fans of the Minnesota Wild have been collectively holding their breath regarding the future of NHL Rookie of the Year Kirill Kaprizov, who reportedly has a tentative offer of least $10 million with a Kontinental Hockey League team in Russia if he can't reach a new deal with the Wild by Sept. 1 after having played just one season in North America.
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.
However, news has been released earlier today that should put fans of the Wild at ease. According to The Athletic's Michael Russo, CSKA Moscow of the KHL has announced that Kaprizov will not join the club this season:
He writes on Twitter:
"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."
It also wasn't long ago that Wild GM Bill Guerin painted an optimistic picture regarding the young Russian star's future in the Twin Cities.
“I think things are going well enough,” Guerin said. “We still have lots of time. There’s no rush or panic. I’m in constant communication with Karill’s agent, and we continue to move forward.”
So, does Guerin anticipate signing Kaprizov to a similar short-term deal like the deal Kevin Fiala recently agreed to?
“No, (the deal) will be longer," he said.
The Wild are scheduled to begin training camp on September 23 and have their first preseason game scheduled for September 25 at Scotttrade Center in St. Louis against the Blues.