The Minnesota Wild have re-signed defenceman Matt Dumba to a five-year deal worth $30 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
MIN and Matt Dumba settle on a five-year, $6M contract— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 21, 2018
That's $6M AAV— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 21, 2018
The two sides were headed for arbitration, but that all ended with this big extension. New general manager Paul Fenton now gets his biggest order of business done with, locking up one of the team's core young players.
With Dumba re-signed, the Wild now have just over $5.645 million in cap space, per CapFriendly.com. 33-goal scorer Jason Zucker has an arbitration hearing next week, and the Wild will have a difficult time fitting his pending pay raise in the books. As such, Fenton may have to prepare to move out some salary.
The 24-year-old Dumba is coming off a career year, in which he scored 14 goals and 15 points while logging 23:49 time on ice per game. Dumba helped the Wild punch a sixth consecutive trip to the postseason, but they were eliminated in relative ease by the Winnipeg Jets in five games.
The Wild were expected to make a handful of big roster moves this summer, but so far Fenton hasn't done that. The Central Division is loaded with two Stanley Cup contenders in the Nashville Predators and Jets, plus the improved St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche.
Re-signing Dumba was key for the Wild, but Fenton could still be busy making more roster moves before the 2018-19 season begins in October. Some have listed forwards Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle has possible trade candidates, but none of that has come to fruition yet.
The Wild gave Zach Parise and Ryan Suter matching 13-year, $99 million contracts in the 2012 offseason, which handcuffs the front office and disallows them from making any major moves in the immediate future.
Minnesota has plenty of questions and cap concerns heading into the next several years, but at least they were able to reach a long-term extension with Dumba, one of the game's better all-around blueliners.