It appears the Minnesota Wild and winger Brandon Duhaime have worked out a deal before their arbitration hearing, which was set for Thursday. The two sides have agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.1MM, the team announced Sunday.
The one-year deal will walk Duhaime to unrestricted free agency next summer. A 2016 fourth-round pick of the Wild, Duhaime made his NHL debut early in 2021-22 and hasn’t looked back – he’s played 131 games over the past two seasons with the Wild and has avoided assignment to the minors. He’s demonstrated solid consistency and defensive awareness, leading to an everyday role in the lineup when healthy.
He gets some nice seven-figure compensation because of that, and the Wild get some much-needed financial certainty out of the way without risking an arbitration ruling that could upset their delicate dance with the salary cap’s Upper Limit. CapFriendly does list the Wild with just over $7MM in projected cap space after signing Duhaime, but that’s with just 11 forwards and new contracts needed for Filip Gustavsson and Calen Addison.
While it’ll be close, getting Duhaime locked in for next season under $1.5MM is a solid win for general manager Bill Guerin. It should spare him enough room to get the Gustavsson and Addison extensions done, albeit likely short-term, and keep a core together that’s gotten the Wild to the playoffs in four straight seasons.
Duhaime finished last season with nine goals and one assist in 56 games.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was first to report the Wild and Duhaime had reached a deal.