Generally, when thinking of the Minnesota Wild, the first name that comes to mind is Kirill Kaprizov. That’s fair, considering his superstar status, however the team’s defense core, which has been together for several years, is the foundational piece of the team’s current build. Those players include captain Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, and impending UFA Mathew Dumba. The seventh-overall pick in 2012, Dumba has spent parts of nine seasons in the NHL, all wearing a Wild uniform. But, for much of it, it’s been his name circulating in the rumor mills and that may continue to ring true this year.
The Athletic’s Michael Russo had a chance to talk with Dumba recently, who opened up about the possibility for being traded and his impending free agency, especially as it relates to Minnesota’s difficult salary cap situation. The defenseman made clear he wants to stay and is focused on being the best player and leader he can be, allowing it to work out as it does. Wild GM Bill Guerin, however, didn’t seem as optimistic, reiterating the organization’s difficult cap position, which “makes it hard to do certain things.” Guerin also mentioned that the Wild had not begun to engage Dumba on extension talks yet. Notably, the Wild are set to carry a $12.7MM cap charge against them this season, which increases to $14.7MM over the next two, thanks to their buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Though they technically might be able to afford Dumba, they will have to be smart with the use of their cap, and with the defenseman coming off of a $6MM AAV deal and a pipeline loaded with defensive talent, extending him may not necessarily make the most sense.