An Update on Kirill the Thrill

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA TODAY Sports)

There has been a development with the story that I wrote about Kirill Kaprizov. You can find my original article here. To recap, Kaprizov is a gifted winger who won rookie of the year with the Minnesota Wild. The team has been trying to negotiate a long term deal with him. Communication had been limited between the parties and the KHL team CSKA Moscow wants to bring him back since they own his rights for that league. There is also an interest to add him to the Olympic roster.

Now we have an idea of the general offer the Wild is proposing to Kirill Kaprizov. According to reports, the offer itself is roughly seven years with an annual salary of 8-8.5 million. Kaprizov has rejected two offers of that nature. It appears he is looking for a deal with less money and only two or three years on the contract. When have you ever heard that?

Update as of 7/14 – Kaprizov has turned down an eight year contract with nine million annually. He is looking for a four or five year contract and believes he will be worth ten or eleven million annually in the future.

Why This Is Important

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there was an agreement in place to allow NHL players to participate in Olympic play moving forward. Apparently the deal is not official yet and there is no real indication of why that is. The KHL now has some leverage in that department. Kaprizov is a restricted free agent, but because he hasn’t played enough games in the NHL, the Wild is the only team that can offer him a contract.

Kaprizov gave something professional hockey in Minnesota hasn’t had for a long time, relevancy. He is a great player, and without him the Wild would not have made it to the playoffs or done much of anything. There is a theory that he wants a short term deal to be able to test free agency and cash in with a different team. Kaprizov shares the same agent as Artemi Panarin who did something similar. After playing with the Chicago Blackhawks and winning a championship, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played with them for two years before signing a huge contract with the New York Rangers in 2019. Nothing is official yet, but there are some parallels here.

Your Move Minnesota

Before I said it would be best to avoid special treatment to avoid ruffling any feathers on the team. At this point, all bets are off folks. Give Krill Kaprizov the ranch and more. Ask about who he played with in Europe and which of those of those players he would like to team up with again. Once you know that, make them an offer and ask your hopefully franchise player to recruit them. The roster is an aging one in need of a major youth movement. Look what Montreal did with their young players. Build around Kaprizov using the Montreal method with a mix of young talent and veteran presence. Joel Eriksson Ek is already locked up for the foreseeable future.

Before signing Russian players was commonplace in the NHL, it was virtually impossible to get them. Russian players were officers in the military and were not allowed to defect. Doing so would be an act of treason. The Detroit Red Wings were the first team to successfully bring them over and gave them lucrative offers filled with money, expensive cars, and anything else they needed to get established in the United States. They were known as the Russian Five. Ironically enough, one of those players was Sergei Fedorov who is the general manager and new head coach of CSKA Moscow. In a complete twist of fate, a player who got one of those offers is trying to prevent the same thing from happening again. How’s that for irony.

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