Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin and his staff are slowly making their way through their offseason to-do list. They’ve already cleared cap space by trading away winger Kevin Fiala for a pick and top prospect, and most recently — according to some reports — they have re-signed top-four blueliner Jake Middleton to a three-year, $7.35-million deal, keeping him in Minnesota through the 2024-25 season.
Darren Dreger later confirmed that the AAV of Middleton’s deal will be $2.45 million.
At the age of 26 years old, Middleton was just one year away from unrestricted free agency and was set to be a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. This deal forgoes any contract negotiation-caused headache in the middle of the summer and leaves both parties happy. A defenseman that just got a regular NHL gig last season is handsomely paid for being an adequate partner for Wild captain Jared Spurgeon, and Minnesota gets their top-four defensemen solidified for next season.
With this signing, the Wild now have approximately $4.93 million left in cap space to fit one goaltender and two forwards. We can presume that Marco Rossi and his $863,333 cap will be one of those forwards, and we do know that Guerin really wants to bring netminder Marc-Andre Fleury back to St. Paul.
We’ll keep you updated.
It’s official. A three-year deal for Middleton that comes with a cap hit of $2.45 million.