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Wild, Fontaine avoid arbitration — two years, $2 million

Jul 29, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild - Game Six Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild have come to terms with winger Justin Fontaine on a two-year contract worth $2 million, according to agent Neil Sheehy.

Fontaine had 13 goals and eight assists in 66 games for the Wild in 2013-14, his rookie season in the NHL. The 26-year-old was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing on Friday.

Fontaine was originally signed by the Wild in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The Wild still have restricted free agents Nino Niederreiter and Darcy Kuemper to get under contract.

  1. credible316 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    ok, NOW GET EL NINO DONE!!!

    • getadealdonealready - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      I wish I could give your comment 100 thumbs up! Would love to see that one done very soon!

      • strictlythedanks - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        absolutely they need to getadealdonealready

  2. fightingwild - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Fletch will take care of Nino. Kuemper is the one to worry about, of course he has limited rights but he could threaten with KHL or Europe & then the Wild would be in a bind. Nino I think is very excited to come back & really drive the nail into the Isles hearts.

    • credible316 - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      I am confident they will get Nino done but I have mixed feelings about Kuemper. I know he’s young but man, it’s a shutout or a game of soft goals.

      Our goalie situation isn’t the best so I guess we should sign him.

      IS IT OCTOBER YET!!!

  3. wutangwild - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Nice. Fonz is so dang versatile, I think he played on every line last year. Now get Nino and Kuemper signed.

  4. lordfletcher - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    shocked at the $$$. would have thought that contract to be closer to the $3 million range

    good job fletch

    • ThatGuy - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Based on 20 points for a 26 year old rookie?

      Pretty sure it was your expectations that were off. I would have been shocked with anything over 1.25 m

      • lordfletcher - Jul 29, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        Age has almost nothing to do with it.

        He has played one year in the NHL scoring 21 points and 13 goals, 66 games. He played much better than his stats indicate as he was often buried in the 3rd / 4th lines. Going into the playoffs he was one of the best skaters on the team. Him signing a deal for 2 million dollars isn’t a lot, but a small bridge deal to his potential next contract. Just saying, a $1,000,000.00 isn’t a lot for a quality guy in today’s NHL salary. There are plenty of guys near his age and same point production from last year that make 3x as much. Tho, he has only played one year of NHL hockey, I don’t think any of us expect him to fall off the face of the earth. He could be a 30-40 point 3-4th liner in 82 game season. Not too bad for $2 / 2 year.

        either way, I am happy with the deal.

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    And the amazing thing is the Wild have 10.7M remaining in cap space, with two RFA’s to sign. I imagine 1/2 the GMs in the NHL would love to have his problem;)

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      On the other hand, he needs to cap space for next year, where there’s a load of guys to sign.

      • fightingwild - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:02 PM

        Next year I would have to think one ot two of the young ones will be gone. With what we have coming up vs what we have LT contracts for I think something will have to give. Of course Ballard, Brodziak, Veilleux & Harding will be coming coming off. As of right now the Wild have 24 Million to sign 11 players.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 29, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        Which is somewhat of an estimate due to the unknown of what the cap will be next summer. Still think the Wild will have a less difficult that the Hawks, Blues or Kings for example.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 29, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        none of the ‘youngs’ are going anywhere if worth keeping around. Coyle may be the only one needing to have a big year but I think he stays just at a lower cap hit if he doesn’t get 45+ points.

        With the cap as high as it is and with those falling off the books after next year and those the year after that like Backs and Cooke, there should be plenty of cheddar to go around. Brodin will likely get a bridge deal and Granlund will get a 4-5 year deal I think. not worried one bit.

      • fightingwild - Jul 29, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        I disagree in one aspect. I think Zucker is out of here. I just get the impression he is the square peg in the round hole. I don’t know if it is his defensive responsibilities or if it is Yeo. I think a line of him, Haula & Fountaine would be lights out. Yeah they are smaller players but damn they are fast.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:43 AM

        wait, you’re worried about Zucker staying around :)

        There’s the door kid. its time to put up or shut up. If he wants to stay with this club, he will have to work incredibly hard and have some good puck luck this season. I don’t get the love over him like some others have. Yes he is quick, yes he shoots first but that’s almost about it at this point. Hopefully he changed his game a bit after being sent down again, but losing Zucker is not an issue if you are the Wild. If anything, he could be dealt for defensive help at the deadline, or dumped for a pick.

        The line you mentioned would be fast but I need to see a lot more out of Jason before I lose any sleep over his contract situation.

        cheers

      • fightingwild - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        I was just responding to your comment about none of the youngins moving on. I think Zucker will be gone unless he has a breakout season. He will most likely be a career AHL Player. I am honestly not to worried about this team. If goaltending becomes an issue I think Fletcher will sacrifice a pawn to secure it. I am hoping against hope that Harding can prove us all wrong & play the entire year at the high level we was. Unrealistic? Probably, but that is why there are movies like Miracle, Rudy etc. Stranger things have happened.

  6. rsmaggiemae - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I think this salary is appropriate for his play he still has to improve as he was benched for non play a couple of times
    I am hoping the Wild can still get rid of Brodzy at 3 mil Veilleux I am sure will be gone and I feel bad about that as he has always given his all and was stuck down in the minors most of his career but tried his best. Watching his video becoming Wild. I really liked him a lot on a personal basis which should not count at all in the team
    I dont know if Harding will be able to play as he really should take time off from hockey to rest as stress is a huge factor with MS and living in a cold climate can bring it on. as I know as I had it when I was 23 and was paralyzed for 2 years of my life but was given a drug and it never came back and boy was I lucky but it ruined my life being so young it was terrible.. I had the symptoms but ignored them for almost a year thinking cant be anything serious i am only 23
    I had to quit my very good job becuz of the MS and rest and take the medication for the 2 years so it was very difficult so I know what he is going thru

  7. purpleguy - Jul 29, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    It will be interesting as both Nino and Kuemper have pretty strong willed agents.

  8. crazyhorse2609 - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Good signing by the Wild. Very under rated bit part to the team. And by bit part, I mean a solid fringe 3rd line/ 4th line player.

  9. astilgy - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    Great signing. Love Fonz. Would love to see him given more opportunities, but with all of the young talent the Wild have it’s going to make if difficult for him to crack the top-6 on a regular basis.

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