The Minnesota Wild have decided that Alex Stalock has done more than enough to remain in the organization, today signing him to a three-year extension. Stalock will earn an average of $785K per season, totaling $2.355MM over the three years. The deal is a one-way contract, meaning the veteran goaltender will make the same amount regardless of whether he is playing in the NHL or AHL.
Not only does this deal secure the goaltending position for the Wild, it also takes early care of a problem that faced many teams not too long ago. That’s the problem of the expansion draft, in which every team needs to provide at least a certain number of eligible players and goaltenders. Signing Stalock for three more seasons means he can fulfill their obligations in net, though it seems unlikely that the new Seattle team would actually select the veteran.
Even Minnesota may not keep Stalock around for the entire deal, given the emergence of Kaapo Kahkonen this season. In his first year of North American professional hockey, Kahkonen has played very well in the minor leagues and even earned himself a spot on the AHL All-Star team. The 22-year old goaltender will try to force the hands of the Minnesota front office and earn a recall in the coming seasons, meaning Stalock would have to be relegated to the minor leagues.
Still, it’s hard to imagine that Stalock would really be afforded a better opportunity elsewhere. After a strong season in 2017-18 where he recorded a .910 save percentage through 28 games, Stalock hasn’t been nearly as good this year and very well could have found himself fighting for a contract on the open market. The 31-year old has only played 106 games at the NHL over his career, so securing a three-year deal represents more stability than he could have been expecting. The fact that it is a one-way contract that will guarantee him more than three quarters of a million dollars each season will only add to that stability.