We noted yesterday that the two sides were a couple million dollars apart and that the Minnesota Wild and forward Kevin Fiala had three days to come together. It didn’t take nearly that long. Early Monday, the team and the player settled on a one-year deal worth $5.1 million, avoiding arbitration, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
Related: Wild and Fiala Submit Arbitration Numbers, Millions Apart
The arbitration hearing was set for Tuesday. Fiala had asked for a one-year, $6.25MM contract, while the team had countered with a $4 million deal. The final number fell almost exactly in the middle of those two figures. Fiala, 25, will still be a restricted free agent when this one-year term ends. He will require a qualifying offer equal to this $5.1 million salary if the Wild intend to keep him in the fold on an extension. He will also be arbitration eligible again.
Fiala is hoping to continue his offensive production to get another raise next summer. Over the past 114 games, he’s scored 43 goals and 94 points. If he keeps up this pace, or even improves it, he’s bound to get a hefty long-term extension in the future.
Kicking the Fiala Can Down the Road
Part of the reason the Wild were happy enough just to do this one-year deal and kick the Fiala can down the road a little is because a ton of their focus is on getting an extension done with Calder Trophy Winner Kirill Kaprizov. The team is having trouble getting the young forward to sign an extension and his numbers could come anywhere between $7 and $10 million per season depending on the term, which has been the sticking point thus far in negotiations.
This isn’t about a dislike for Fiala as he’s been a great addition since coming over from the Nashville Predators in a trade that sent out Mikael Granlund, who has also been a good pickup for the Predators and earns almost the exact same salary now.
It will be interesting to see if the Wild’s pushing Fiala to the side a little in favor of Kaprizov will have any affect on his desire to stick with the organization long-term.
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