Minnesota Wild Nervous that Kirill Kaprizov Will Leave

Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL season is not over yet but the Minnesota Wild and their superstar forward Kirill Kaprizov have been done for weeks, after failing to make the NHL playoff field for the first time in five years. So, local fans and media members alike are turning to the offseason.

President of hockey operations, Bill Guerin, has a roster that needs a lot of work. Unfortunately, he has limited salary cap space to work with, thanks to the Parise + Suter buyouts that will continue to haunt the Wild for one more year.

Why won’t Kirill Kaprizov sign an extension with the Minnesota Wild?

Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
Photo: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

But according to a report Thursday from Michael Russo and Joe Smith of The Athletic, the Wild are nervous that their lack of talent and winning could lead to the ultimate nightmare. Kirill Kaprizov ditching town for a more serious Stanley Cup contender.

Craig Leipold admitted last fall that re-signing Kaprizov when his $9 million-per-year contract ends is constantly on the team’s mind. And, look, until Kaprizov’s signed on the dotted line, you should be concerned.

He wants to win, and too many nights it felt like he was on an island. He also has friends throughout the league that you know would love to persuade him to sign with their teams, and he has a hard-line agent who has a long history of clients moving on to different teams. And we all know Kaprizov’s first two contracts were not simple to get done.

The Athletic

This is worst case-scenario and it appears as though most of Kaprizov’s decision comes down to winning. He wants to play for Stanley Cups and this report — from one of the most trusted and plugged in reporters in all of hockey Michael Russo — makes it pretty clear that, as currently constructed, Kirill isn’t sure the Minnesota Wild are built for any type of Cup runs in the foreseeable future.

Related: Six NHL Draft Prospects that Fit Minnesota Wild Perfectly at Lucky No. 13

That’s why the Minnesota Wild owner is nervous. His PoBO has a $9 million/year contract in the printer with Kirill Kaprizov’s name on it, but said superstar does not appear interested in signing any sort of extension right now. That would make me nervous too. But hey, at least we’d have a bunch of cap space, right…

The Wild will pull out all the stops to try to extend Kaprizov next summer, but if he doesn’t get done next offseason, there will be reason to fret.

The only solace is if he doesn’t re-sign, the Wild would have a boatload of cap space to pursue other stars. This is why it’s important for Kaprizov to start to see light at the end of this tunnel and be convinced that winning long-term in Minnesota and being a true contender is in the cards.

The Athletic

I don’t know what Craig Leipold and Bill Guerin have to do or who they have to pay under the table, Glen Taylor style (the other Joe Smith). But they need to do whatever necessary to get Kirill Kaprizov back under contract for as long as possible.

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