MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Wild has made plenty of roster moves this offseason, but the biggest one the team needs to make hasn’t happened yet.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin has already shown he’s not afraid to make bold moves. He bought out the remaining contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who signed identical 13-year deals on July 4, 2012. The Wild has a new star and face of the franchise, and his name is Kirill Kaprizov.
Fans are getting more anxious with every passing day that the Wild don’t announce a new deal for Kaprizov. In his first season with the Wild, he led the team in scoring with 51 points, and with 27 goals, both franchise records for rookies, in a shortened regular season. Kaprizov did all that in just 55 games.
Kaprizov also had three points, two goals and an assist, in seven playoff games against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Reports emerged earlier this week that Kaprizov has agreed to a one-year deal worth about $10 million with a team in the KHL, in his native Russia. That’s if Kaprizov can’t come to an agreement with the Wild on a new contract by Sept. 1. Multiple reports this offseason indicate that the Wild have offered him an eight-year deal, but Kaprizov is seeking a shorter term contract that could eventually allow him to enter free agency.
Guerin has insisted throughout the offseason that talks are ongoing with Kaprizov’s team, and there’s no cause for panic. That’s not putting Wild fans at ease.
Kaprizov released a video on social media on Tuesday, showing that at the very least, his work ethic can’t be questioned. In a pouring rain, he’s seen carrying a large tire, working on his running, footwork and turning in heavy sand, doing strength exercises with a rope and throwing a kettlebell over his head for max distance.
The bottom line is this: Kaprizov is the next star of the Wild, and it’s now on the front office to make sure he stays in Minnesota.