Minnesota Wild about to face the toughest cap situation any team has ever faced

Published May 15, 2022 at 8:12 PM

While it was announced this year, that the NHL would be increasing Cap Space woefully by $1 Million dollars, it won't help the Minnesota Wild at all.

Bill Guerin did put together a winning roster, but not a roster that goes deep as evidenced by the playoffs. Bringing in Marc-Andre Fleury as a short-term solution, did it really work? He's a UFA and a rental, with a $3.5 million cap hit, isn't cheap, when you're already up against the cap, with $1,503,610 remaining total. His numbers against the Blues weren't impressive, winning 2 out of 5, despite a .906 sv%.

The NHL salary cap will go up for the first time in three years, getting a $1 million boost to $82.5 million for the 2022-23 season.

I suppose the good part is if you don't plan on bringing Fleury back, you're not responsible for retaining his salary, but it makes me think about the lack of long-term preparations to keep Minnesota competitive. Kevin Fiala's lack of output in the off-season is troubling and deserves some examination as well.

Defensively there were holes in the Wild's coverage, choosing to keep Jordie Benn and Dimitry Kulikov, while Calen Addison rode a bench is questionable. If you can ship these two out for picks and prospects, you can easily clear $3.4 million in cap and not have to worry about losing Benn and gain nothing. Kulikov has an 8-team no-trade clause, so hopefully, Guerin will work him into a spot elsewhere.

Offensively the team was on a better standing, with Kirill Kaprizov putting up 108 points, followed by Kevin Fiala with 85. I don't have much to say about the GREEF line, who was a net positive all year, despite this they need space to let Connor Dewar and Matt Boldy grow, along with finding Tyson Jost a spot in the line-up.

So it'd be best if Guerin could move Bjugstad, Flower, and Fiala for assets if they want some more flexibility.

Also, we can blame Chuck Fletcher for signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to monstrous contracts in 2012, which resulted in a buyout in 2021.

Parise and Suter were signed through 2025 at matching salary cap hits of $7.538 million each year. The buyouts save over $10 million next season but extend dead money on the cap through 2029. They will combine to cost the Wild almost $15 million against the salary cap in 2023-24 and 2024-25 for Parise and Suter not to play for them.

So the Wild will definitely be in a tough spot, in need of players who can continue to move the needle into next year and work with the dead cap, Chuck Fletcher gifted them. No thanks to Fletcher, as he's currently imposing his will on the Flyers and I'll hate to see what happens thereafter he leaves or is fired.

So while the rest of the league is operating under a cap of $82,500,000 the Wild will be operating under a cap of $69,756,412.
May 15   |   1 answers
Minnesota Wild about to face the toughest cap situation any team has ever faced

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