This Darcy Kuemper-Minnesota Wild situation doesn’t sound good


The latest, from TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

We’ve written quite a bit on PHT about the stalled negotiations between Kuemper — currently a RFA — and Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher who, in August, said the Kuemper camp’s ask was too high.

“Darcy certainly has great potential and played very well in stretches for us this season, but at the end of the day I think he’s played around 30 games in the NHL,” Fletcher told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “Usually this isn’t the time to fight for the big contract. We feel Darcy right now is trying to establish himself in the league and once he does that it’ll be a little simpler to come up with terms.”

At this point, it’s worth noting that Kuemper’s camp has a history of battling Fletcher. Three years ago, Kuemper — represented by agent Jeff Helperl of Thunder Creek Management — went down to the wire on his entry-level deal, signing just before his draft rights expired.

(Kuemper, a sixth-round pick in 2009, was nominated for the CHL’s player and goalie of the year in 2011, which seemed to spike his value.)

Fletcher and the Wild have done their bit to put Kuemper in his place as of late. In mid-August, Fletcher publicly stated that both Backstrom and Harding were good to go for the upcoming campaign, giving each a clean bill of health. Shortly thereafter, an interesting story appeared in the Star-Tribune — one that outlined how badly Ilya Bryzgalov wanted to return to Minnesota, which included this line from agent Ritch Winter:

“[Bryzgalov] has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities even if it requires him to compromise somewhat to accommodate the budget issues facing the team if that becomes a possibility.”

Compromise — like a two-way deal, perhaps?

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out moving forward. The Wild open their preseason two weeks from today with a game against Winnipeg, and head coach Mike Yeo said he plans on splitting Minnesota’s first three preseason games between Harding, Backstrom and Kuemper.