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Report: Wild likely to go through arbitration with G Gustavsson

Filip Gustavsson Minnesota Wild Filip Gustavsson - The Canadian Press

The Minnesota Wild and Filip Gustavsson are likely to go through the arbitration process on August 4, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.

Gustavsson would be the second goaltender to go through the process this summer, with Ilya Samsonov of the Toronto Maple Leafs being awarded a one-year, $3.55 million contract from an arbitrator over the weekend. Forward Philipp Kurashev also went through arbitration with the Chicago Blackhawks last week, receiving a two-year, $4.5 million contract. 

Fellow goaltender Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins also currently remains without a contract ahead of his July 29 arbitration hearing.

Acquired from the Ottawa Senators last summer, Gustavsson is coming off a breakout season in Minnesota.

The 25-year-old went 22-9-7 record in the regular season with a .931 save percentage and a 2.10 goals-against average. The Wild had initially planned to split starts between him and Marc-Andre Fleury in the playoffs, but eventually turned to Gustavsson to start five of their six playoff games before being eliminated in the first round by the Dallas Stars. 

Fleury, who is under contract through next season at a $3.5 million cap, said in May he is willing to take on a reduced role moving forward, but will not accept a trade.

“I’m tired of moving. I’m not going anywhere,” Fleury said.

Selected in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Gustavsson has amassed a 32-22-10 record in 66 NHL games. He has a career save percentage of .920 with a 2.51 GAA while appearing in games with the Senators and Wild.


Wild cap crunch

With limited cap space, the Wild have stayed quiet this off-season, making only minor additions. 

The Wild have $5.39 million in cap space, per CapFriendly, with Gustavsson and fellow restricted free agent Calen Addison still in need of contracts for next season.

Minnesota continues to be bogged down with $14.74 million in dead cap as a result of buying out both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter two years ago. 

The dead cap number will remain at $14.74 million again in 2024-25, before dropping to $1.67 million from 2025-2029.