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. Wild insider Michael Russo of The Athletic reported 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.
Wild GM Bill Guerin, to his credit, has put his focus on getting Kaprizov on his team's lineup for the 2020-21 season.
“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.”
But then yesterday Russian hockey reporter Pavel Lysenkov dropped an absolute bomb when he reported that Kaprizov has agreed to a one year deal with CSKA Moscow of the KHL for the 2020-21 season.
From Lysenkov's report, translated from Russian:
Forward Kirill Kaprizov and goalkeeper Ilya Sorokin will not leave CSKA in the near future.
This became known to matchtv.ru correspondent Pavel Lysenkov.
Both hockey players will remain in the Moscow team for another season. The probability according to Kaprizov is 95 percent, according to Sorokin - 90.
This is due to the fact that the Russians may not be allowed to play in the NHL in the 2019/20 season, and the start date of the next league draw remains unknown.
Thus, Kaprizov and Sorokin will sign new contracts with CSKA and will be able to start the season in September, without losing their game practice.
But, just when you thought you'd see enough twists and turns in this story, Russian hockey insider Aivis Kalnins is refuting Lysenkov's reports.
Check it out:
I don't know what to believe...
At this point, I don't think I'll believe anything until I see this guy on the ice in a Wild jersey.