On the Minnesota Wild …
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: The Minnesota Wild are set to have salary arbitration hearings next week for forwards Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund.
The Wild are hoping to be able to get a deal done beforehand and in the three to five year range. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher thinks that if they agree on a deal before, it would be “at the 11th hour.”
“We’ll keep plodding along,” Fletcher said. “Everyone’s working hard, we’ve had good dialogue, but obviously we haven’t gotten to the finish line yet. If you look around the league, negotiations tend to go right down to the arbitration day or the day before or the day after the hearing sometimes even.
“Nothing prods progress more than a deadline.”
Niederreiter’s hearing is set for August 3rd, with Granlund on the 4th.
It is thought that both Niederreiter and Granlund are looking for more than $6 million a season on long-term deals.
Comparables could be Mika Zibanejad and Ondrej Palat (five years, $5.3 per), Tomas Tatar (four years, $5.3 million per), Viktor Arvidsson (seven years, $4.25 million per), Alex Galchenyuk (three years, $4.9 million per), Tyler Toffoli (three years, $4.6 million per) and Chris Kreider (four years, $4.625 million per).
Marcus Foligno is another Wild restricted free agent, but he didn’t file for arbitration.
“We’re open to any angle,” said Fletcher, referring to a term of three, four or five years. “I guess anything’s possible, but somewhere in that three- to five-year range would probably work well for everybody. That’s not to preclude a longer deal, but that’s not where the focus has been on our end.”
The Wild and Foligno’s camp held initial talks, but his agent has been dealing with five players who filed for arbitration.
“We’ve given them the parameters of where we see it, and I’m sure we’ll hear back from them shortly and go from there,” Fletcher said. “I kind of expected we’d be speaking with Marcus more in August than we would in July.”
The Wild have $15.7 million in cap space and may want to leave a bit of room to sign a free agent like Matt Cullen.