Report: Wild looking to 'get the Niederreiter deal right' with several RFAs next summer

Sep 1, 9:05 PM

One month after forward and restricted free agent Nino Niederreiter declared he and the Minnesota Wild were close to coming to terms on a new contract, the 21-year-old remains unsigned with only a few weeks remaining until training camp.

While general manager Chuck Fletcher told Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune the situation is "not a concern," he qualified that statement by adding, "We’d rather have a contract done, but these things happen. You’d like everything to be clean and simple, but it doesn’t always happen that way. We’ll continue to try to etch into it.”

Russo reports the negotiations may be held up on the Wild end of things as the club looks to set a healthy precedent in advance of next summer.

The Niederreiter negotiations, to me, are the most compelling because of how many Wild forwards can become restricted free agents next summer – Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Erik Haula. Fletcher said again that in the next couple months, he’ll talk to the agents of all of next summer’s potential RFA’s (including defensemen Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella) to 'try to get ahead of it.' (aka, extensions). 'In some cases, we may need to wait until next summer.'

But with so many young players to re-sign soon, Fletcher feels he has to get the Niederreiter deal right or it’ll affect the others.

Fletcher previously stated he's looking to signing Niederreiter to a short-term deal, which makes sense in light of Russo's report; if the team opens the vault on a long-term deal for this player, next year's restricted free agents will be looking for the same courtesy, putting the team in cap trouble and/or facing decisions in terms of dealing away certain players.

Sep 11, 5:30 PM

Wild sign Niederreiter to 3-year contract reportedly worth $8 million

Sep 11, 5:30 PM

The Minnesota Wild and forward Nino Niederreiter have agreed on a three-year contract, the team announced Thursday.

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports the terms of the deal.

"I'm glad it's over with and I don't have to worry about the contract any more. I can't wait to focus on playing," Niederreiter told Russo.

The winger scored 14 goals and added 22 assists in 81 regular-season games in 2013-14. He scored three times and added three assists in 13 playoff games.

The 22-year-old reportedly turned down a "huge KHL offer" to continue negotiating with the Wild. He was a restricted free agent.

Wild training camp begins on Sept. 18.

Feature photo courtesy of Dennis Wierzbicki / Reuters

Sep 9, 5:14 PM

Agent: RFA Niederreiter rejected 'huge KHL offer' to continue negotiatiating with Wild

Sep 9, 5:14 PM

As one of the Minnesota Wild's restricted free agents is believed to be considering an offer from the KHL, forward Nino Niederreiter rejected "a huge offer" from the European-based league in order to continue the negotiation process with the club, his agent, Andre Rufener, informed the Pioneer Press via email. 

The two sides remain committed to reaching a deal prior to the start of training camp on Sept. 18, and Rufener told Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune that the two sides are indeed very close to signing the contract.

"We are close [to a contract with the Wild] and I really hope and I truly believe that we can get it done,” Rufener said “It’s in our best interest to get it done before camp, so that’s what we’re trying to do. I’m very positive about it [getting done]. I will be disappointed if we could not get it done. We’re very close and we cannot let that slide through our fingers from both sides.”

Interestingly, general manager Chuck Fletcher is believed to have presented a "new, interesting idea” in regards to a long-term contract earlier this week. This new offer, however, remains one of several possibilities being discussed, according the Rufener.

“We have to take a look into this,” Rufener said. “It’s interesting and it’s a possibility. At this point, it’s not clear yet. Terms are not clear yet. There’s still several options. We’re working on it and Chuck tells me, too, that it’s in our best interest to get this done in the next week.... That’s what we want to do.”

Going back to the KHL offer, the agent affirmed the 22-year-old has no interest in leaving Minnesota: “I told Nino up front, ‘this [KHL offer] might be the only leverage we have,’ but it’s not really leverage because Nino made clear he wants to play in the NHL and for Minnesota.”

Aug 1, 10:00 PM

Wild's Niederreiter on contract negotiations: 'We are really close to signing a new deal'

Aug 1, 10:00 PM

The Minnesota Wild and restricted free agent Nino Niederreiter are nearing an agreement on a new contract extension, the Swiss-born forward told Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen on Friday.

"It's all about the duration of the contract and a few little things," Niederreiter told the Swiss media outlet (via google translate). 

The 21-year-old forward, the fifth-overall draft pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, also suggested that contract length and "some details" are all that stands in the way of a new pact. 

"From that perspective, we are really close to signing a new deal," said Niederreiter, via swisshockeynews.ch.

The Wild have been looking to sign Niederreiter to a bridge-type contract extension, with Minnesota's general manager Chuck Fletcher suggesting earlier in the week that a potential deal between the club and the talented young forward would come in at a range between two- to four-years of term.

Jul 30, 11:09 AM

Wild, Niederreiter discussing 2-to-4-year contract options

Jul 30, 11:09 AM

Contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and restricted free agent Nino Niederreiter are ongoing, and general manager Chuck Fletcher told Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune on Tuesday that he has discussed a “bunch of different scenarios” on two-to-four-year deals with Niederreiter’s agent.

He also reiterated the fact that a bridge-type deal may be in the best interest of both parties:

If we spend too much money on players before they’re ready to get the money they feel they deserve, it impacts a lot of other things down the road. If we can get a deal done tomorrow, great. If it takes even into training camp, it’s really not a big deal. We’ve got great depth, we got lots of players. We’re going to have to do what’s right financially to keep this thing going forward.

Niederreiter played a huge role in the team's Game 7 first-round win over Colorado, scoring two goals, including the overtime winner, and assisting on Jared Spurgeon’s tying goal late in the third period.

Jul 12, 7:40 PM

Wild GM Fletcher looking to sign RFA Niederreiter to short-term bridge contract

Jul 12, 7:40 PM

The Minnesota Wild are in talks with restricted free agent Nino Niederreiter and his agent, and while general manager Chuck Fletcher says the team is "open" to signing the 21-year-old to either a short or long-term deal, the preference would be a bridge contract in order to get a better sense of the type of player they're committing to.

Via Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune:

In some ways, the easiest thing to do is do a two-year deal and that way however he develops you can react and nobody gets too far ahead or too far behind. The problem sometimes with longer-term deals is one side could be wrong. So shorter-term deals are usually easier until you know the career path of the player. But we’re open to any scenario, and we’ve expressed that. We’ll see how it goes, but as long as the numbers make sense, we’re prepared to do anything within reason. Probably anything between two to four years would be the most logical. I think beyond four is incredibly hard to figure out and one year doesn’t seem to make any sense.

Niederreiter - the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft - scored 14 goals and added 22 assists in his first year for the Wild after being acquired by the New York Islanders last summer. He elevated his game in the postseason to the tune of three goals and three assists in 13 games, including two game winners.

The potential is there for Niederreiter to be an effective NHL scorer, and while he has yet to break out over the course of a full season, he appears to be on the brink after his performance in the playoffs.

As such, a bridge deal seems likely and is probably best for both sides at this stage in his career.