Wild general manager Bill Guerin is still confident in his ability to sign budding superstar Kirill Kaprizov at some point this offseason. He made that clear on Saturday when talking to reporters for the first time since a report surfaced last month that suggested contract negotiations have stalled.

“It has not gone cold, contrary to what some people have reported,” Guerin said, referencing specific wording in a recent tweet from NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes. “We have got an open dialogue going. There’s nothing new to report. But it’s not like things have stopped.”

In a perfect world for the Wild, the 24-year-old Russian would sign for the max term of eight years, thus keeping him around the Twin Cities well into his prime. That said, it’s been widely reported that Kaprizov would prefer a shorter-term deal.

His agent, Paul Theofanous, recently reached out to Guerin to keep the conversation going. The plan is for both parties to chat next week.

“It’s not like we are talking every day,” Guerin said. “But there’s nothing that’s been cut off or dried up or anything like that. It’s just an ongoing process. Sometimes it takes three days. Sometimes it takes three months. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just part of the process.”

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The fact that Kaprizov doesn’t want to sign long term at the moment shouldn’t be too big of a concern. It’s rare that a rising star wants to fully commit to a certain team so early in his career. Plus, the Wild haven’t proven to be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender at any point in their existence.

“This is not abnormal,” Guerin said of the back-and-forth contract negotiations. “This is something that happens all the time on every team. We are not special. We are not above this sort of thing. It’s just going to take time.”

In addition to Kaprizov, the Wild also have to sign skilled winger Kevin Fiala at some point this offseason. They recently inked Joel Eriksson Ek to an eight-year contract that will keep him on the Wild through the 2028-29 season.

As for Kaprizov, Guerin reiterated that he expects him to be a part of the Wild next season. \

“There’s got to be compromise in everything,” Guerin said. “You’ve got to understand the other side and where they’re coming from. They are trying to accomplish something and so are we. I think when there’s maybe a bit of a disagreement it takes a little bit more time to come to a compromise. But I do believe there’s a deal to be had there. I’m confident in Kirill and his wanting to be here and his willingness to play in Minnesota. And I’m confident that Paul sees that.”