Kaprizov Available to Wild Immediately After Hiding Out in Florida Prior to New Contract

AP Photo: Stacy Bengs

Yesterday, news broke that the Minnesota Wild had finally signed Calder winner, Kirill Kaprizov, to a 5-year, $45 million contract but questions still remained on his availability. Some of those questions have been answered this afternoon.

According to Michael Russo (The Athletic), Kirill and his agent have been in Florida for at least a week. That’s the time needed to clear COVID quarantine regulations in the United States. He’s also vaccinated with one of the three FDA approved American vaccines. And for the cherry on top, the Russian superstar’s work visa doesn’t expire until September 30.

Immediate Kaprizov

That’s right. Kaprizov was available to media in-person via press conference on Wednesday. And he’ll be on the ice for the Wild’s first practice on Thursday.

Guerin immediately headed to the airport for a flight to South Florida. A few days earlier, Guerin learned that Kaprizov had secretly flown to Miami, where he would quarantine, receive an NHL-authorized COVID-19 vaccine and wait until his contract was finalized so he hopefully would not miss training camp, which officially began Wednesday with on-ice sessions beginning Thursday.

One thing that did work out perfectly with Kaprizov is something the Wild seemingly didn’t realize until recently: Kaprizov’s work visa from his original contract doesn’t expire until Sept. 30, sources say. So, that’s how he was able to get into the country without a finalized new contract. The Wild now have eight days to renew his visa.

So on Thursday, when the Wild take the ice officially at TRIA Rink for the first time to commence the 2021-22 season, a jovial No. 97 will be out there skating around and probably wowing us all like usual.

Michael Russo – The Athletic

Enjoy it

Can Kirill Kaprizov carry the Minnesota Wild to a Stanley Cup with the weight of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s contracts weighing the team down? Do the Wild have a center in their organization who can help Kirill reach the ceiling of his talent?

These are all legitimate questions that can wait for a day, while we soak in all of this good news.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan