Kirill Kaprizov just lost a little leverage as CSKA Moscow of the KHL has made it known that he will not be playing there this season.
The reigning Calder Trophy winner reportedly had a one-year deal in place for September 1 with the club should he be unable to come to terms with the Minnesota Wild. Many called it the worst bluff in sports history, and they appear now to be proven right.
KHL Deal Dead; Wild contract coming?
Kirill Kaprizov led all rookies in goals (27), points (51) and power-play goals (eight) in 55 games this past season. His totals in goals, assists (24) and points served as records by a rookie in franchise history.
Back in June, NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes broke the story Kaprizov was in Russia and negotiating with CSKA for a return that would also include the Olympics.
The two sides have been at a standstill since April when Kaprizov rejected an 8 year-deal. At this time, the 24 year-old is only interested in a two year deal that will take him to UFA status at 27. He fully believes that he’s a 10 million plus type player but the Wild are unlikely to give him such a deal after one great season.
Bill Guerin has kept communication ongoing and is reportedly willing to do a shorter term contract. So is a deal in the works?
According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, a new deal is not imminent.
However; with the “KHL Threat” off the table, Kaprizov really doesn’t have any other leverage but holding out and not playing. If he does that, he’d be giving up a considerable amount of salary. The Wild hold his rights for two more seasons.