One of the offseason’s biggest stories has undoubtedly been the salary cap situation of the Minnesota Wild. General manager Bill Guerin was faced with an extremely tricky deck of cards this summer – the team’s three best forwards were all restricted free agents and needed new contracts. With a frozen salary cap and increasing market value, it was never going to be easy for the Wild to continue icing a contending team in 2021-22.
However, with Kevin Fiala inking a one-year $5.1MM contract today to stay in Minnesota, the team finally has some clarity in how they’ll be rolling their lineup in the near future. What’s for certain now is that the team will have enough financial flexibility to have Kirill Kaprizov on the roster, at least for next season. With Fiala signed and a full roster, the Wild have $13.1MM in cap space with only Kaprizov left to sign.
But, it seems with every passing day that Kaprizov’s eventual signing price will likely be astronomical, and on a short-term deal as well. The likely outcome here by most accounts is Kaprizov signing a deal equal to or shorter than four seasons, likely between $7-10MM. It’s certainly doable for 2021-22, but the main concerns have never been just about next year.
Moving forward, it’ll be even tougher for Minnesota to stay cap-compliant. The promise of a slightly increasing Upper Limit helps somewhat, but not by much. While 2022-23 sees the combined $9MM cap hits of Victor Rask and Alex Goligoski vanish, they’ll also need a new deal for Fiala, gritty winger Jordan Greenway, and promising netminder Kaapo Kahkonen. The total cap hit increase of those deals, plus an $8MM increase in cap penalties due to the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise buyouts, make a scenario in which all three players are retained nearly impossible, even with some team-friendly deals.
The deal Fiala signed is likely very similar to what he would have been awarded had the case gone to arbitration. It doesn’t exactly show long-term commitment to the relationship between player and team, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see another transaction involving Fiala within the next calendar year.
While cost certainty helps create a clearer picture for the upcoming 2021-22 season, the long-term landscape still remains treacherous for the up-and-coming squad.
All salary cap figures from CapFriendly.com
I think we can take the Wild out of any Eichel talk at least.
Wouldn’t want him anyways. His injury situation is just to unknown and potentially serious to risk 1st Rd picks and good prospects for him. If Buffalo drops the price significantly than I’d maybe take a chance.
Yeah why would anyone want someone who put up nearly a ppg while playing with that injury and having been bumping heads with management over the situation at the time. Who also the year before almost had 40 goals in under 70 games. Such a hard gamble. And thats the type of player that teams should definitely have untouchable assets when trading for lol.
Im a wings fan and almost everyone that they list as untradeable over the last few years will never reach the production of Eichel so why the f would you not be willing trade them for someone who can easily be putting up 40 goal, 100 point seasons with talent on the team.
And seeing as how the wild arent exactly icing elite centers next season and how you could also throw in a couple of players with big money contracts in the trade for that elite center, Eichel would be a nice piece to entice skilled players to sign after those 2 years the major buyout charges hit.
But yeah, dont trade for elite talent which could actually improve your cap situation and put you back into playoff contention a few years down the road.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see them snag Ryan Kesler, Andrew Shaw or Johnny Boychuck or a combination of them so they can have LTIR space eventually. Better get ’em before Tampa does.
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How would that help? They can’t trade cap penalties.
They’re gonna needs someone’s LTIR cap amount next season just to field a team. Tampa keeps doing it and they’ve already grabbed Seabrook.
The upcoming $14+ million cap penalty will make it next to impossible to field a competitive team. Lets add a couple million to the cap since that might happen in three years (81.5 + 3) 84 million cap…lets just play along.
Wild can ‘play’ with $70 million since they have $14mil eaten up with their two superstars they released.
Now we all know how good Arizona looks right now – and that’s with huge cap hogs like Eriksson , Beagle, Ladd, and Kessel. Not exactly ‘stars’ right?
Their cap is currently $73 million – that’s 3 million more than the Wild will get…in three years.
How on earth is Minny going to have a competitive team with a ceiling of $70million in a few years????