Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild still remain apart in contract negotiations, which has opened the door for the KHL’s CSKA Moscow to entice the reigning NHL rookie of the year back home.
According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, CSKA, where Kaprizov played for three seasons before coming to the Wild, has offered the 24-year-old forward a one-year deal worth at least $10 million beginning Sept. 1. That adds an intriguing layer to extension talks with general manager Bill Guerin confident the two sides will work something out.
“You’ve got to understand the other side and where they’re coming from,” Guerin said last month. “They’re trying to accomplish something and so are we. I think when there’s maybe a bit of a disagreement, it just takes a little bit more time to come to a compromise. It’s not just them not wanting to take what we’re offering, it’s us, too, and we have to see it that way. It takes two sides to make a deal, and it just could take a little bit longer.”
In his first NHL season, Kaprizov scored 27 goals and recorded 51 points, bringing excitement to the franchise and later taking home the Calder Trophy.
The Wild has been trying to get Kaprizov signed to a longer-term deal, per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, while the player is looking for something shorter — something that could take him to unrestricted free agency in two years. Kaprizov, a restricted free agent, does not have enough NHL experience to be eligible for an offer sheet and does not hold arbitration rights.
How much will Guerin dig for a long-term deal? Would the GM be willing to call Kaprizov’s bluff? There’s always room for compromise in contract talks and this isn’t the first time the KHL has been used as leverage by a player hoping to get what they want. The Wild would retain Kaprizov’s rights if actually did go back to CSKA, but losing him would be a big blow to a franchise who took a big step forward last season.