NHL Rumor Mill – August 17, 2021

by | Aug 17, 2021 | Rumors | 21 comments

What’s the latest on Kirill Kaprizov’s contract talks? Do the Blue Jackets still have roster needs to address? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TWINCITIES.COM: John Shipley reports Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin isn’t concerned about the possibility of Kirill Kaprizov signing with KHL team CSKA Moscow. “It’s not my decision, it doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. Asked of the report of the 24-year-old winger signing a one-year, “eight-figure” deal with the Russian club was true, Guerin said he couldn’t tell if it was true or not.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

While Guerin had nothing new to report on Kaprizov’s contract talks, he believes things are going well. “We still have lots of time. There’s no rush or panic. I’m in constant communication with Kirill’s agent, and we continue to move forward.”

Guerin reached an agreement yesterday with winger Kevin Fiala on a one-year contract. He indicated Kaprizov’s deal will be longer.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Wild have been rebuffed in his attempts to sign Kaprizov to seven- or eight-year contracts in the range of $9 million per season. They’re now willing to discuss a mid-range deal lasting four, five or six years.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz points out a lucrative deal for Kaprizov could complicate efforts to re-sign Fiala to a long-term deal starting next season when the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter start eating up a big chunk of cap space over the following three years.

Gretz suggests embracing a rebuild, perhaps by shopping Kaprizov for a big return. While it wouldn’t be the best PR move, he felt it would be the best long-term option. He also recommended shopping Fiala if they’re not sold on the winger. It might also be too cost-prohibitive to retain defenseman Matt Dumba, who’s earning $6 million annually through 2022-23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin is calling Kaprizov’s bluff, confident the young forward will return to the Wild. The winger has little leverage except to threaten to return to the KHL. Most observers doubt he’ll follow through. A four-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million seems likely.

Guerin’s bold decision to buy out Parise and Suter will cost the Wild over $12 million in dead cap space in 2022-23, and over $14 million in each of the following two seasons. Big new contracts for Kaprizov and Fiala will make it difficult to re-sign future free agents like Dumba, Cam Talbot, and Jordan Greenway. It will also be tough to add new players over that period.

A rebuild suggested by Gretz seems unlikely at this stage. A lot will depend upon the club’s performance this season, especially with the younger players already on the roster and those who could crack the lineup this season. Affordable youth stepping up could provide Guerin the room to navigate through his difficult salary-cap situation after this season.

NHL.COM: Tom Gulitti believes the Columbus Blue Jackets need a right-shot defenseman and perhaps a center with Max Domi sidelined until November by offseason shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pickings are slim in the free-agent market. Right-hand shot blueliners include Jason Demers, Sami Vatanen and Erik Gudbranson. Centers include Eric Staal, Tyler Bozak, Artem Anisimov, Travis Zajac and Casey Cizikas, though the latter two could already be under contract with the New York Islanders.


  1. Kaprizov is 24. Fiala is 25. If you want to rebuild, those are the guys to keep and build around. Dumba will probably have to be traded, as the Wild have more depth on defense.

  2. I know this isn’t part of the news bites but I was reviewing Arizona Coyotes on CapFriendly:


    Clayton Keller
    Nick Schmaltz
    Andrew Ladd
    Christian Dvorak
    Lawson Crouse (rfa)
    Christian Fisher (rfa)


    Jakob Chychrun
    Shane Gostisbehere
    Conor Tmmins


    Josef Korenar (rfa)

    That’s everyone remaining on their active roster for the 22-23 season.

    Next Season

    2 first round picks
    5 second round picks

    Capspace 22-23 $47,610,000

    Next season should be very interesting in Arizona, with 12 pending ufa’s on the active roster more draft picks and prospects should be on the way.

    Christian Dvorak has 4yrs remaining at $4,450,000 Why would Arizona trade him? They wouldn’t unless it’s and overpayment.

    Arizona will need to spend money to meet the cap floor.

    • Probably continue to “weaponize” their cap space again to gain additional assets to rebuild the long-term viability of the franchise.

      Looks like AZ GM is trying to contiue getting picks and prospects to build a more sustainable & competitive team….ya know like a GM is supposed too lol.

      Smart move to clear long term cap and use short term cap to gain additional assets and try to build a consistent competitive team to bring fans in.

      • Seems to me Arizona has been the dumping ground of contracts to help teams get out of cap jail. & what has been their returns? A few 2nd round picks. If I was a Coyote fan there would be no way on Gods green earth I would pay to see that team full of players not playing up to their contract. That isnt what I would want my GM of my team to be doing. If I were a Coyote season ticket holder, I would tell them to wake me up when they start to ice an exciting team to go see.

        So no this isnt what GM’s should be doing. Coyotes should be sold & moved to a City & ownership that wants to win the cup. How many of those 5 2nd round picks do you think will not only hope to play in the NHL but would be someone you would want to pay big dollars to go watch?

      • NHL Bettman won’t allow the move. The team had high end vets” on expensive deals and they barely made the playoffs.

        This is exactly what needs to be done to garner potential picks.

        If you looks at sheer %…the number of 1st rd picks that achieve a stellar career is not very high. AZ only gets 1st a year.

        By increase the odds of grabbing a “gem in the rough” is done by garnering more draft capital…that is doen by taking on ugly short term contracts.

        Studs Like Federov, Hasek, Datsuyk and many more were drafted in later rounds…..

        So yea…I thin the team fan base would happily eat a mild 2 seasons to get as many picks to see if they can build something competitive….also a flexible cap leaves cap pace to attract UFA talent and compliment their young roster.

        AZ ticket prices are less than a major market. Games are affordable for those in AZ that actually like hockey. It is steadily growing its sports roots in that state.

        AZ vets had their chance and under Tocchet and did not meet their goals.

        Time to more prospects the merrier. Not one GM would say less picks the better unless they have a solid roter than is already a consistent playoff team, and even then they would still like to have picks.

        Respectfully disagree

      • Re: Ihatecrosby, the number of gems in the later rounds are not as many any longer as in the old days. top 6 forwards are rarely found below round 2, D can be found a little later, same with goalies. What they should be doing more/better is taking care of the ones they draft.

      • Pens top 6 has guentzel and rust. Both below 2nd round. Both excellent top 6 players.

    • I’m hoping that LL has Kessel in his sights. If he can get AZ to pick up half of Phil’s money, it would be a home run for the Isles.

      Imagine someone who can actually finish on Barzal’s wing!

      • well if it is Kessel for Komorav and Bellows it can be done and that is picking up half of Kessel’s cap hit by taking on Komarov

  3. It’s pretty obvious that it’s not really the money for kapeizov. It’s about location. He wants to pick where he plays. More power to him. I hope he holds out for that deal that takes him right to fa.

    • Location, location, location.

  4. Re Wild and KK…. and setting aside the Russian bogus (and it is) $10 M offer…..

    If he gets $8 M…. staring next year at best Wild have a tad over $17 M to fill 11 spots ; if it’s $9 M… then space is just over $16 M (for 11 spots)

    I find it hard to believe that they have much chance (any chance perhaps ?) at going deep (and will be pressed for making playoffs ; in 22/23 through 24/25…. When their true Cap ceiling will be $13 M, then $15 M then $15M behind all other teams and especially Central Div teams

    If they aren’t likely to make playoffs in ‘23–‘25 and almost assuredly unlikely to get a cup in that time-frame…. then the focus should be on this year or a long-term re-strategize

    Trading KK now (very few can take him on at whatever he’ll sign for) is a long-shot

    Keeping him and signing him long term (which he apparently is not going for per media) at $8M or $9M per Cap… and knowing that most longer term contracts are at least slightly front end loaded…. Then Billy G would be paying $35 M to $40 M total for one player for the next 4 years…. Where odds of a cup are basically non-existent; and odds of any playoff games are but slim…. Not a good position for Billy G

    Add to that…. Just one season (shortened) under his belt…. Risk of sophomore slide….. note he had the huge benefit of lack of opponents experience playing against him…. and he had but 7 opponent teams to play against

    Next year , more games to play; more film for opponents to watch/prep for…. 24 extra teams to play against

    He’s good… no doubt…. But tying big bucks to him long term …. Could end up biting them (Wild)

    Obviously Billy G is pushing long term… which means buying UFA years…. Hence the media speculation on $8 M to $9 M per Cap hit

    I have no desire to be in Billy G’s shoes right now…. But perhaps he considers two possible scenarios…

    A) Because of the heavy dead cap space coming up and limited (any ?) chance of playoff rev over next 4 years…. Try and trade him (again….. who can take him; what are they willing to give up); or

    B) Consider a high Cap bridge deal that Wild will still have player control of (still RFA then) at expiry

    If A…. Who are the takers… what’s the cost to acquire

    If B…. What is the offer? 2 years at $7 M Cap hit….$10 M SB , $2M Sal each year? (I’m throwing out high SB low Sal for the QO to be reasonable … to retain rights… after 2 years)

    • @ Pengy…well summer coming to a close and Hextall hasnt done much. Brock Mccinn danton Heinien are decent should help our bottom 6.

      But defense goaltending we did not address…

      There are so.e vets left that could helo.

      Eric stahl could come In and play third center..dependable physical ,and good on face offs.and Carter could go to wing when the russain returns.

      Gustav, 29 maybe he helps Malkin and a change of scenery he has skills..

      Ww must move Petersson we may hVe to eat $1 million but still leaves us with $3.025 in new cap space.


  5. GMBG can play hardball too and offer to sign him for 3-4 years at 4 million with option to keep him tied up for 3 more years.

    Kaprizov could play in the KHL, top players there are paid $1.5 million.

    He can then try as an RFA who can be qualified, but its money he will never get back and he’s on a 3 year “show me”

    Players rarely score as many goals in the NHL as they do in the KHL. He had 30 and 33 in the KHL before a season of 27 in the NHL.

    Arizona signed Dmitrij Jaskin for 1 yr at $3.2 million.

    Dmitrij who??
    28 y/o Moscow Dynamo 38 G last year, 31 the year before.

    • I can’t see anything beyond an affordable bridge deal for Kaprizov. Beyond winning the Calder he has neither done enough nor seen enough competition (due to last season’s format) to warrant any more than $7m over 2 -3 years and that is frankly generous. Considering the optics of the the recent buyouts are terrible in Minnesota, doing anything beyond what I just stated would make them look worse and show they’ve learned nothing

  6. PLEASE explain:

    Is there some advantage or “up-side” for Lou L to delay/disguise all his pending player signings, trades etc???


    Is it just Lou being Lou, and adding to his “mystique” or is there something to be gained??

    • Iowa Boy, Whatever LL is working on it’s not just for “mystique”.

      You don’t win GM of the Year based on “mystique”.

      “If you have time, why not use it”……LL

  7. “Studs Like Federov, Hasek, Datsuyk and many more were drafted in later rounds…..”

    That was in the days with much less European scouting and often they didn’t come over for a few years.

    There are sites out there showing the probabilities of NHL players by round and there is a significant drop off by round.

    “Is there some advantage or “up-side” for Lou L to delay/disguise all his pending player signings, trades etc???”

    Makes me laugh whenever I hear about that “mystique”

    Agents work for their clients not LL and if they are available they’re talking to any GM who calls or answers the phone.

    • Agreed as the roudns go by the less probability of an NHL career increase, however, my point is because of that decreae percentage you are actually increasing the probability my garnering additional picks in volumes. Going from 1 2nd rd pick and 1 st rd pick to 5 2nd rd picks and a 1st is a vast improvement in odds.

      AZ GM is giving himself more leverage in the draft and in trade by using his cap wisely. Flat cap error, limited revenue share due to flat cap and low revenues streams in top end markets forces his hand to lower internal budget.

      Just my observation on how he is handling no $cash (owners not wanting long term high $ deals on aging players) from a low revenue team and trying to build a new team, new culture and turn the franchise into something better and more consistent to attract fans.

    • and perfect example Kiprizov was drafted in something like the 100th plus pick range.

      more picks increases odds.

      open cap space too to perhaps trade draft capital for the Tzachuk brothers or sign Barkov (ufa)or Peterson ( and give up picks)

      options for the GM

      again IMO

      • Kaprizov is a good example, he was drafted in the 5th round…..in 2015. He didn’t come over till 2020.
        Would you waste a 1st or 2nd on him? BTW he scored 4 G in his draft year, followed by 11, 20 and 15 in the KHL.

        IHC, like many here I got stuck on one line of your post and harped on it instead of recognizing that I’m in full agreement with the gist of what you’re saying….collecting picks increases the odds of finding a gem.

        my apologies