Ten days after the Wild signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a six-year, $25 million extension, center/right wing Charlie Coyle is the next of the young core to re-up.
The Wild avoided restricted free agency next summer with Coyle by signing him to a five-year, $16 million deal this afternoon. The deal starts next year, averages $3.2 million a season.
“We’re very excited to get Charlie Coyle signed through the 2019-20 season,” said GM Chuck Fletcher in a release. “Charlie’s size, overall skill set, and character give him a chance to emerge as a top power forward in the game and we’re happy he will be doing that in the State of Hockey for years to come.”
"I’m really excited," Coyle said on a conference call. "Just to move forward with this organization, obviously I’m happy with where I’m at right now. It’s just going to be nice to know that I’m here for another five years. I’m just really, really thrilled and excited and happy right now.”
Coyle, who had a strong final 10 games of last season and solid playoff (played a large chunk secretly with two separated shoulders), was the big piece in the June 2011 Brent Burns deal. It could not have happened without Coyle being involved.
"If he just does what he’s doing right now, he’s still a big, valuable piece of our team," assistant GM 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. For him, we had no issues going term with him."
Director of Hockey Administration was the Wild's lead voice in the Coyle negotiations.
Flahr did the Brodin contract. And Fletcher is doing the Mikael Granlund one.
As I reported in Tuesday's paper here, Coyle was very intrigued by a long-term extension. As of now, it appears as if Granlund isn't interested in one.
As I wrote in the story, Before the season, Nino Niederreiter signed a three-year, $8 million contract averaging $2.67 million per year, topping out at $3.5 million his final season. It’s a bridge deal that will give the Wild power winger the opportunity to score more than his career-high 14 goals in order to potentially receive a home-run third contract.
For similar reasons, it appears as if Granlund has little interest in signing a long-term extension. Granlund, the Wild’s No. 1 center, has a chance to pile up points the next few years, so waiting for the longer term could enable Granlund to earn mega dollars in a third contract.
A two- or three-year deal not only benefits Granlund, it’ll allow the Wild more time to analyze how good Granlund can become and also make certain health isn’t an issue. He does have a concussion history.
Nothing is imminent, I'm told. Dialogue has been positive and ongoing, but there's no deadline here, so it could be weeks or months or even into the offseason.
Fletcher also said he wanted to stagger these deals and so far Darcy Kuemper expires in 2 years, Nino in 3 years, Coyle in 6 and Brodin in 7 (those two, the extensions don't start until 2015-16).
As for Coyle, he'll skate on the right side of the Thomas Vanek-Mikko Koivu line to start Thursday's game vs. Arizona.
Besides Granlund, Marco Scandella, Erik Haula and Christian Folin are the NHL restricted free agents next summer -- as of now. The Wild hasn't really gotten into contract talks with Haula and Folin as of yet, sources say, which is nothing to be worried about. It just wanted to focus on the Big Three, and then Scandella to follow. But some of these will undoubtedly go into next summer, which is very normal.
The Wild has reached out to each but told some the timing may not be right.
"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. We’ve got a good team in that locker room with the older guys and the vets that we have and our younger guys, it’s nice to go through this kind of stuff with them."
Coyle said he owes everything to his family.
From the press release:
Coyle, 22 (3/2/92), has collected two points (1-1=2), a plus-3 rating and 10 penalty minutes (PIM) in four games this season with Minnesota. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound forward owns 46 points (21-25=46), 71 PIM and 164 hits in 111 career NHL games with the Wild while averaging 16:19 in TOI/game. The native of East Weymouth, Mass., recorded 30 points (12-18=30) in 70 games last season and ranked third on the team in hits with 108. He established career highs in hits, faceoffs won, shots and TOI in a game last season. Coyle registered two goals in 40 seconds in the second period vs. COL (1/11/14) for his first multi-goal game and fastest two goals scored by a Wild player at home. He ranked tied for third on the team in playoff scoring with seven points (3-4=7) in 13 contests.
Coyle was acquired from the San Jose Sharks with Devin Setoguchi and a 2011 first-round selection (Zack Phillips) in exchange for Brent Burns and a 2012 second-round selection (Pontus Aberg) on June 24, 2011. He was selected by San Jose in the first round (28th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.