'Just a matter of when' Wild's Gustavsson signs new deal, his agent says
Filip Gustavsson's agent doesn't believe there's any doubt about whether he and his client will reach an agreement with Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin on a new contract for the goaltender.
"The good news is we've started a dialogue and everything is really positive," Kurt Overhardt told The Athletic's Joe Smith on Thursday. "I'm confident, working with Billy and his group, that over time something will get done. I don't think it's a matter of getting something done. It's just a matter of when it's done. It's only June 2. So there's still a lot of time."
Guerin echoed Overhardt's sentiment that there's no sense of urgency given the timetable.
"We'll see what the timing is for Gus. There's no rush," the GM said. "We're going to get it done like this (an extension) or through arbitration. I'm fine with whatever."
Gustavsson is a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The Swede, who'll turn 25 on Wednesday, ranked second in the NHL in save percentage (.931) among goalies who played at least eight games during the regular season. But he made only 39 appearances in that span, starting 37 of them.
The ex-Ottawa Senators netminder just played the second season of the two-year contract he signed with his former club at an average annual value of $787,500. The Sens traded him to the Wild for veteran puck-stopper Cam Talbot last July.
Gustavsson is taking a hands-off approach to his negotiations.
"I pretty much told my agent to call me when the contract is done," he said. "And I'll see what it is."
Gustavsson doesn't have much NHL experience, having played only 27 games over two campaigns with Ottawa before the trade.
The Wild also have top goaltending prospect Jesper Wallstedt waiting in the wings while developing in the AHL. They hold approximately $9 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly. However, they also have numerous pending unrestricted free agents, including Matt Dumba, John Klingberg, and Ryan Reaves, as well as pending RFAs like Calen Addison, Brandon Duhaime, and Mason Shaw.
The Wild's most experienced goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, is signed through next season at a $3.5-million cap hit.