Get used to Charlie Coyle's Boston accent. It'll be echoing around the Wild locker room for some time.
The former Boston University forward and Massachusetts prep star signed a five-year, $16 million contract extension Wednesday that could keep the power forward in Minnesota at least through the 2019-20 season. The deal came 10 days after the Wild signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a six-year, $25 million extension.
"If he just does what he's doing right now, he's still a big, valuable piece of our team," assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "You see the trust he has with the coaching staff. Everybody wants to play with Charlie Coyle on a lot of occasions just because of his size and the way he plays his all-around game.
"We think he's just emerging. It's just the tip of the iceberg with the guy right now. You see how hard he works, the time he puts into the game. He's the type of player you win with."
The 6-3, 221-pound Coyle, the key piece in the June 2011 Brent Burns trade with the San Jose Sharks, has scored 21 goals and 46 points in 111 career NHL games. He was strong in the final 10 games of last season and the playoffs, where he secretly played with two separated shoulders.
General Manager Chuck Fletcher believes the 22-year-old former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff MVP has the "size, overall skill set and character" to "emerge as a top power forward in the game."
"I'm just really, really thrilled and excited and happy right now," Coyle said. "I was trying not to treat it as a [distraction]. I knew this didn't have to get done right away. It's obviously in the back of your mind, but it wasn't a big deal at all. But it is nice to have it done with."
The new Brodin and Coyle contracts begin in 2015-16 with Coyle's contract topping out at $4.25 million his final year. Fletcher's next objective is to extend Mikael Granlund's contract.
Nino Niederreiter signed a three-year, $8 million "bridge deal" before the season. Granlund also appears mostly interested in signing a two- or three-year deal. That way, the No. 1 center would have a chance to break out offensively the next few years and hit a home-run third contract. Talks are said to be positive and ongoing, but nothing is imminent and there is no deadline.
The Wild also has reached out to the agents of Marco Scandella, Erik Haula and Christian Folin, whose contracts all expire next summer.
"I think it's in everyone's mind that they want to move forward with each other," Coyle said. "We want to keep this core group going."
Still, don't be surprised if some of the players aren't re-signed until next offseason.
"I don't think we want to get ahead of ourselves on certain players," Flahr said. "We've told every player we're open to talk, but at the same time, the timing may not be right for certain players."