Devils could target Kevin Fiala as Wild face salary cap crunch

In this edition of 32 Thoughts, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman give an update on Darcy Kuemper's injury, discuss Mark Scheifele's trade status with the Winnipeg Jets, the future of Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, and much more.

New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is looking to add an impact player to his lineup and is willing to trade his first-round pick in return.

One player to watch for is Kevin Fiala, as the Minnesota Wild have some interesting decisions to make this off-season.

“I’m told the New Jersey Devils really do like Kevin Fiala and why not had a great season with 85 points,” Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek said during the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “I’m sure they can probably see him playing with fellow countrymen Nikko he sure as well. The Minnesota Wild are going through a cap crunch next season with the buyouts for Zach crazy and Ryan Suter as well.”

Minnesota is set to have just over $12 million in dead cap space after it bought on the remaining four years of the deals Parise and Suter that were set to expire in 2025. The buyouts saved over $10 million this season instead of having both on the roster at a $7.538 million cap hit.

The cap charges increase after the 2022-23 season and will combine to cost the Wild almost $15 million in 2023-24 and 2024-25 for Parise and Suter not to play for them.

This presents a significant challenge in trying to retain Fiala, who is a pending restricted free agent. The 25-year-old had a career year putting up 33 goals and 85 points in 82 games.

Minnesota originally acquired Fiala back in 2019 in exchange for forward Mikael Granlund.

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