Sports Face-to-face meeting got Kaprizov deal done for Guerin, Wild
Mikko Koivu to ‘be around’ Wild training camp in some capacity
Koivu, 38, retired earlier this year, leaving the Columbus Blue Jackets after playing just seven games. That time in Columbus is perhaps an unfortunate footnote on a career that up until then was spent entirely in Minnesota, spanning 15 years and more than 1,000 games with the organization.The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired a pair of goaltending development coaches, bringing in Kain Tisi and Charles Grant. The two will work with goaltending prospects throughout the Penguins organization, in Europe, the minor leagues, juniors and college hockey, as well as scout draft-eligible and college free-agent goalies.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — These complex contract negotiations between the Minnesota Wild and Calder Memorial Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov were crawling closer and closer to training camp, and neither side wanted to cope with such a distraction for the budding star left wing.
For general manager Bill Guerin, there was only one way to get this deal done before the start of the season: with an old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation.
“It’s easy to be tough on people over the phone and over a Zoom call or something like that, but you can’t beat meeting in person,” Guerin said on Wednesday at team headquarters, the day after the Wild signed Kaprizov to a five-year, $45 million contract.
Tyler Bozak re-signs with Blues on one-year deal
Bozak may not be the player who recorded 55 points in 2016-17, but he’s still one of the best faceoff men in the league, winning 56.8% of his draws last season. He will offer the team excellent depth down the middle as the Blues look to rebound from a disappointing 2020-21, where they were pummeled by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs. With new faces like Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad adding a new dimension to the forward group, the team has built quite the diverse lineup. Adding Bozak for a smaller cap hit (initially) than Kyle Clifford and Mackenzie MacEachern only helps things.
The technological ease of remote communication these days and the increase in physical separation created by the COVID-19 pandemic have made these human connections all the more valuable.
“That was the most important thing, that Kirill and I had a chance to look across the table at each other. But also, for me to express my feelings about the negotiations and where we are and, just as importantly or more importantly, what Kirill had to feel and what Kirill had to say,” Guerin said.
Kaprizov recently traveled from his native Russia to the Miami area, where he satisfied his international quarantine requirement and received his COVID-19 vaccine to put himself in position to immediately take the ice once an agreement was reached. Such planning by Kaprizov and his agent, Paul Theofanous, only helped strengthen their relationship with Guerin, who was doing all he could this summer to resist becoming impatient.
Top 10 Unsigned RFAs Heading Into Training Camp
Training camp is just days away, and many teams are left with unsigned players. Here's a look at a few of the best currently without deals. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports It's not uncommon for teams to wait until the last minute to sign their top RFAs. It's not ideal for the fanbases who spend the summer waiting for news about their favorite players, but it's the name of the game.
When Theofanous asked Guerin on Monday to fly to Florida so the two sides could take the stalled talks across the finish line, he was there by dinnertime.
“It was great to see him. I had a smile the whole time. I couldn’t really get it off my face. It was great to see him in person, so I was very happy the two days, and I thought negotiations went really well,” Kaprizov said through his translator.
Drafted in the fifth round in 2015, Kaprizov stayed and played in the KHL in his native Russia until finally signing with Minnesota in July 2020. He was a restricted free agent who could only negotiate with the Wild, but his instant success on NHL ice with 27 goals and 24 assists drove up his price despite having only 55 regular-season games on his resume. Kaprizov received 99 of 100 first-place votes for the Calder award for the league's top rookie, the first Wild player to win it.
Guerin and Kaprizov hit it off at their first meeting in Russia two years ago. The flight from Florida to Minnesota on Tuesday was even more fun.
Wild sign Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov to five-year contract extension
The Minnesota Wild agreed to a five-year extension with forward Kirill Kaprizov that'll total $45-million, earning him an annual average value (AAV) of $9 million. After being selected by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Kaprizov finally made the jump from the KHL to the NHL last season. In his rookie year, the 24-year-old potted 27 goals and 51 points and took home the Calder Trophy as the league's top freshman. Both his goalAfter being selected by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Kaprizov finally made the jump from the KHL to the NHL last season. In his rookie year, the 24-year-old potted 27 goals and 51 points and took home the Calder Trophy as the league's top freshman.
“He spoke English to me the whole time, by the way, the 3 1/2-hour flight. He used a little bit of Google Translate, but we had a great flight. We got caught up on a lot of different things, but it was all about just moving forward,” Guerin said.
This was clearly a case where Guerin's experience with 18 seasons as a player in the NHL paid off for him and the Wild, having been through his own contract-related conflicts from the other side.
“Most importantly, to kind of have some empathy for the player. And not once did I take it personally, or just say, ‘He doesn’t want to be here.’ No, he’s doing what he feels is right,” said Guerin, who was hired by the Wild in August 2019.
Now the Wild will turn anew to the 24-year-old Kaprizov to be the game-changing scoring threat they've long lacked.
“There’s not pressure, because now it’s easy for me when I signed. Now I just want to play. You know, it’s like, ‘Whew,’” Kaprizov said in English, as he raised then lowered his shoulders to emphasize a deep breath. “It’s OK.”
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Dave Campbell, The Associated Press
San Diego Padres fire manager Jayce Tingler after late-season collapse .
After the Padres lost 34 of their last 46 games to fall out of the NL playoff race, they have parted ways with their second-year manager.Tingler led San Diego to the playoffs last season and finished second in the NL Manager of the Year voting. This season started out strong with an exciting young team featuring Fernando Tatis Jr. holding down first place in the NL West as late as May 30.