With Kaprizov Contract Talks Heating Back Up, Guerin Denies Reports That They Ever Went Cold
It’s 90 degrees outside and everyone in the state is out boating on many of the 10,000+ lakes this weekend, not skating. But the biggest newsmakers so far have been the Minnesota Wild. Yesterday, Bill Guerin & Co signed Joel Eriksson Ek to an 8 year, $42 million contract, making the Sweed their first max contract (term) player in franchise history. But now, the Wild are turning their offseason attention back to the main attraction, Kirill Kaprizov.
Talks with the future superstar and his representation had reportedly gone cold before he made his way back to the motherland for a friend’s wedding, leading way to reports that the 24-yr-old Russian was flirting with a big money contract and return to CSKA Moscow.
As of now talks with likely Rookie of the yr Kaprizov & @mnwild have gone cold. My understanding is he’s in Moscow and it’s believed CSKA is interested in signing him for KHL & Olympics. @NHL @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 18, 2021
Billy Guerin’s Side of the Story
Today, during his press conference regarding Eriksson Ek’s new deal, Guerin was asked about Kirill Kaprizov and the above report, along with questions on just about everything else regarding the franchise this offseason. Billy didn’t mince words while denying all reports of a “Cold War” between the Wild and their Russian star.
In fact, talks are expected to pick back up next week. Why they’d have to pick up, if they never went cold, is a brain teaser I’ll let you figure out.
Guerin says Kaprizov's agent reached out to him yesterday and the two plan to speak next week: "It has not gone cold, contrary to what some people have reported."— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 3, 2021
Initial talks with Fiala's agent has begun#mnwild
Eriksson Ek vs. Kaprizov: "Sometimes it takes three days, sometimes it takes three months." It's a process, he says, and he's confident a deal will get done. "This is not abnormal. … We're not above this sort of thing," saying sometimes contracts take time— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 3, 2021
The Minnesota Wild still have a lot of work to in the coming months but nothing is more important than retaining the services of Kirill Kaprizov for as long as possible. Fans and the front office really want to see another 8-year deal announced when the dust settles. Anything under five years would be a disappointment.
If Bill Guerin can’t push the term beyond Kaprizov’s entry level negotiating rights (two years) then the contract would be considered a complete failure.
Fiala and Wild Begin Contract Talks
Bill Guerin also announced that he and Kevin Fiala’s agent have begun contract talks as well. With Ek’s deal done, Kaprizov and Fiala sit as the two remaining priorities of this offseason. But with the Wild in desperate need of a center, Fiala’s future remains cloudy.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan