At least one of the Wild's two unsigned forwards is guaranteed to receive a new contract this month.
The Wild filed for salary arbitration with Kevin Fiala on Monday, a move that ensures the two sides will reach an agreement before next season starts.
Fiala, a restricted free agent, is coming off a two-year, $6 million deal, and talks with the Wild had been ongoing since the beginning of July. The 25-year-old winger also could have elected for arbitration but did not choose that option before Sunday's deadline.
Hearings will be held from Aug. 11-26, but most cases are resolved before then as negotiations can continue in the meantime. Last year, 26 players filed for arbitration and all but one finalized a new contract before his scheduled hearing.
In the event the Wild and Fiala need a ruling from an arbitrator, Fiala gets to decide whether to accept a one or two-year deal. He is two years away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
During a potential hearing, each side presents a case that can include statistics and comparable player information.
Last season, Fiala finished second in goals (20) and points (40) on the Wild after leading the team in scoring (54 points) in 2019-20. His last contract didn't get done until the day before training camp opened in 2019, and Fiala was a late arrival.
But Fiala isn't the only key player still without a deal.
Reigning NHL Rookie of the Year Kirill Kaprizov also needs a contract after an impressive debut in which he paced the Wild in points (51) and scored the eighth-most goals in the NHL (27).
Unlike Fiala, Kaprizov didn't have arbitration rights and is unable to accept an offer sheet from another team. He is only allowed to sign with the Wild.
Re-signing Kaprizov and Fiala could be the last items on the Wild's offseason to-do list.
After buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter and losing the likes of Carson Soucy (Seattle expansion draft), Ian Cole and Nick Bonino (free agency), the Wild replenished its roster last week by signing defensemen Alex Goligoski, Dmitry Kulikov and Jon Merrill and forward Frederick Gaudreau in addition to adding a handful of depth players.
Earlier this summer, the Wild signed Joel Eriksson Ek to an eight-year, $42 million contract and brought back Nick Bjugstad on a one-year deal. The team still has almost $20 million in salary cap space for next season, which starts Oct.15.