Minnesota Wild fans have been waiting on pins and needles for months to see what the outcome of the Kirill Kaprizov story would be. The next chapter may be here sooner than you think. Wild GM Bill Guerin told The Athletic’s Michael Russo that the NHL has ruled that if Kaprizov signs in 2019-20, he can travel with the team to their Phase 3 and 4 practices.
#mnwild GM Bill Guerin says the NHL has ruled that Kirill Kaprizov, if signed for 2019-20, can come for Phase 3 and 4 and can skate in Phase 3 and 4 practices. He would go with the team to Edmonton and be part of the 31 players— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 12, 2020
The bad news is he still won’t be able to participate in any games. He also will be taking up one of the team’s 31 roster spots. This isn’t the end of the world though. As Russo discusses, Kaprizov’s signing will still burn the first year of his two-year contract. But Kaprizov won’t be able to sign with any NHL team besides the Wild. This is because he has no free-agent rights or offer sheet.
The only non-Wild option for Kaprizov at that point would to be going back to Russia, or another country. That is of course IF he doesn’t want to keep playing in the NHL.
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 12, 2020
Guerin and the Wild will have 53-hours starting Monday at noon to get a deal done with the Russian superstar. Expect Guerin to strike a deal early in the window as he has been vocal about getting him stateside and acclimated.
It will still be a while until we see Kaprizov suit up for the Wild, but this is a major step in the right direction. Soon all we will have to worry about is if he is as transcendent as we all believe.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan