There had been rumblings for days about these two potential moves but now they are both official.
The Wild announced two significant free agent signings on Monday and when you look at some of the absurd money being bandied about by some of the other teams in the National Hockey League, these deals feel like the kind of contracts the Wild should feel good about moving forward. So let's start with the biggest signing of the day, that of veteran forward Mats Zuccarello.
According to an official announcement from the Minnesota Wild, general manager Paul Fenton and the Wild have agreed to a brand new 6 year deal with Zuccarello, one that will see him earn $30 million over the full term of the contract. That breaks down to an average annual value of $5 million per season but at this time we do not have the full details of how Zuccarello's contract will break down over those 5 years.
General manager Paul Fenton released a statement regarding this move:
"Mats is a very competitive, high-energy player," Fenton said. "He brings a high level of skill and character to our lineup and we're very excited to add him to our team."
Additionally the Minnesota Wild have also signed veteran forward Ryan Hartman to a brand new contract as well. This one will come in at a significantly lower number with Hartman set to earn $3,8 million over the course of a 2 year contract term. The deal works out to an average annual value of $1.9 million per season which is a very reasonable number for a player of Hartman's stature.
General manager Paul Fenton also released a statement regarding the acquisition of Hartman.
"Ryan will bring grit and competitiveness to our lineup," Fenton said via the team's website. "His compete level is what we are looking for from our team each and every night."
Fenton has not exactly endeared himself to Wild fans with the moves he has made over the past few seasons, but both of these signings about to be quality and low risk options for his team moving forward. Zucarello is fresh off the heels of an amazing performance during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs as well, one in which he recorded 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in just 13 playoff games, and the only thing that should scare Wild fans here is the term on his deal. Although Zucarello still appears extremely capable he is already 31 years of age, and 6 years down the line he may look like a very different player.