Kirill Kaprizov has “Wild” backup plan; 1 year tentative deal with CSKA Moscow in KHL

A new report is breaking tonight that Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov has a tentative deal in place CSKA Moscow in the KHL. According to Frank Seravalli, there’s been no offer made since April. If a deal with the Wild can’t be reached by September 1, Kaprizov could be playing in Russia.

Kirill Kaprizov has offer from KHL CSKA Moscow

There was a hint of some trouble brewing in Minnesota and Kaprizov back in June. NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes broke the story he was in Russia and negotiating with CSKA for a return that would also include the Olympics.

Pierre LeBrun is now confirmed in July that the offer from CSKA was a big one. This is now more than just a leverage play by the 24 year-old offensive star if he doesn’t get what he wants.

At this point, Kirill is only interested in a two year deal that will take him to UFA status at 27. Kaprizov fully believes he’s a 10 million plus type player. The Wild are trying to lock him up for a full 8 years, a deal he’s already rejected.

Seravalli now states that Minnesota is willing to discuss a short-term deal.

Will he leave the Wild?

Kirill Kaprizov has KHL deal
Mar 14, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) warms up before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild and Kirill Kaprizov were supposed to meet after the season, but if that took place no new offer was apparently made. This is really an odd situation where the team wants to go a full 8 years but the player is only interested in a bridge deal.

Why? Is Kaprizov looking to play elsewhere in the NHL? Is he leaving his options open to return home to Russia and play in the KHL? The options all appear to be there.

Michael Russo who covers the Wild for The Athletic was recently on Frank Seravalli’s podcast and believes the two sides will meet in the middle.

“Both sides are going to have to compromise,” Russo started to explain. “Billy Guerin needs to understand Kaprizov doesn’t want to sign a longterm deal. Kaprizov has to understand that Minnesota waited five years for him to get here – they will have to settle on a 4-5 year deal.”

Russo also speculated that the Wild offer was around $9 million over the span of 8 years which Kaprizov rejected. Ultimately, this could be similar to the bridge contract Matthew Barzal got with the Islanders.

This is all in doubt, but one thing seems likely to me. If Kaprizov bolts for the KHL, Bill Guerin will then go all in for Jack Eichel.

Regardless, if he plays in the KHL or not, the Wild own his rights until he’s 27.