The Minnesota Wild and goalie Filip Gustavsson have agreed to a multi-year deal, the team announced Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
The deal is for three years and carries an average annual value of $3.75 million. Gustavsson has a five-team no-trade clause that kicks in the final year of his contract on July 1, 2025, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiation told The Athletic.
Gustavsson’s new contract avoids an arbitration hearing that was set for Friday.
Gustavsson went 22-9-7 in 2022-23, recording a 2.10 GAA and .931 SV%.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
What this means for the Wild’s cap space
It makes things super tight heading into the season. As of now, if you include the Wild’s $14.7 million in dead cap space, the Wild have $1.643 million in cap space with restricted free agent Calen Addison still unsigned. Even if Addison accepts his $787,500 qualifying offer, the Wild won’t have a lot of wiggle room to enter next season, especially if they plan to carry a 13th forward. — Russo
What this means for Gustavsson
It means the goalie who one year ago figured he might be a year from playing in Sweden for the rest of his career and being quite content with that gets the payoff for a terrific season for the Wild. After setting career highs in wins, games played, shutouts and goals-against average, all eyes will be on Gustavsson next season to see if he can repeat his winning ways, take on more of the load from Marc-Andre Fleury and improve in the playoffs, which by his own standards were “average” after a franchise-record, 51-save Game 1 double OT win over Dallas. — Russo
What took so long?
Gustavsson was an interesting — and complicated — case. The Swede has a small sample size (just 60 NHL starts) and there aren’t a lot of examples of goalies going through arbitration hearings. It helped that fellow goalie Ilya Samsonov and Toronto ($3.55 million AAV) just went through their own arbitration process, giving both sides some fresh comparables. The belief is that Gustavsson’s camp — coming off his breakout season with the Wild — shot for the moon during negotiations and the Wild held firm on their projection, knowing how tight they are to the cap.
This appears to be a compromise, a three-year deal that gives both sides some security, and a significant jump in Gustavsson’s AAV. Gustavsson will be the No. 1 for the Wild this season with Fleury as backup. But this buys time for touted prospect Jesper Wallstedt, who is coming off his first year in the AHL. If Gustavsson turns into a star, the Wild will have a tough decision, but also a valuable trade chip in the future. — Smith
(Photo: Jerome Miron / USA Today)
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