The Minnesota Wild and goaltender 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 has an average annual value of $3.75 million. Gustavsson has a five-team no-trade clause that runs into the final year of his contract on July 1, 2025, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Athletics.
- Gustavsson’s new contract avoids an arbitration hearing that was set for Friday.
- Gustavsson went 22-9-7 in 2022-23 and posted a 2.10 GAA and .931 SV%.
Athletics‘s instant analysis:
What this means for the Wild’s cap space
That makes things super tight heading into the season. Right 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 much cap space coming into next season, especially if they plan to bring in a 13th. — Russo
What it means for Gustavsson
That means the goaltender, who a year ago figured he might be a year away from playing in Sweden for the rest of his career and being quite happy with it, is getting the benefit of a great 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 more of the burden off Marc-Andre Fleury and improve in the playoffs, which by his own standards was “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 many 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 comparisons. The belief is that Gustavsson’s camp — coming off his breakout season with the Wild — shot for the moon during negotiations, and the Wild stuck to their projection, knowing how tight they are on the cap.
This appears to be a compromise, a three-year deal that gives both sides some certainty, and a significant jump in Gustavsson’s AAV. Gustavsson will be No. 1 for the Wild this season with Fleury as the backup. But it buys time for the touted prospect Jesper Wallstedt, who is coming after 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
Four burning questions about Filip Gustavsson’s new deal with the Wild
(Photo: Jerome Miron / USA Today)