Minnesota Wild Looking To Extend 3 Forwards

The Minnesota Wild remain in a hole with over $14 million AAV in dead cap for the next two seasons, but still have to get business done regardless. This means looking ahead to the next offseason and re-signing some players on their roster. As of now, there's eight players who will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, including Mats Zuccarello, Marcus Foligno, Ryan Hartman, Brandon Duhaime, Pat Maroon, Jujhar Khaira, Alex Goligoski, and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Of the eight, it seems as though the Wild are interested in already locking up three of them as the team has reportedly began extension talks with Zuccarello, Foligno, and Hartman. The cap is expected to finally rise next season, but the contracts of the three players will be interesting.

Zuccarllo has a $6 million AAV cap hit right now, but he's also now 36 years old. This will reduce the years on his next deal, but the Wild have to keep in mind that the chemistry between Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov is amazing. The Wild may be able to get the AAV down from $6 million, but since Kaprizov joined the Wild, Zuccarello has recorded 57 goals and 181 points in 190 games. Even at 36, I think he has some more great years in him. The Wild do need to manage their cap for one more year though.

Foligno has been a steady bottom-six contributor throughout his career. He's always been a more defensive and physical player, but after a 23-goal, 42-point season in 2021-22, expectations rose. He reverted right back to his normal style of play, only recording 21 points last season. This should allow the Wild to get him at slightly less than his current contract of $3.1 million AAV. He should still be able to contribute in the ways that he always does.

Hartman is the player in line for the big raise, and it might not be in the cards for the Wild. He currently makes $1.7 million AAV and is serving as the number one centerman. That's not what any top line center should or is being paid. He scored 34 goals and 65 points in 2021-22, but injuries held him to just 15 goals and 37 points in 59 games last season. Regardless, he's worth more than double what he's currently getting paid, and I don't know if the Wild can afford that next offseason. If not, they are hoping a young player can step up and help fill the hole.

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