ST PAUL, Minn. — Wild fans can breathe a sigh of relief with news that their top goaltender will remain in the fold for years to come.
The hockey club announced Monday that a months-long stalemate is over after Filip Gustavvson signed a three-year deal worth $11.25 million, an average of $3.75 million per season. The 25-year-old was a restricted free agent coming off a breakthrough season with the Wild, and had an arbitration hearing set for Aug. 4.
After acquiring him from the Ottawa Senators as an intended backup, Gustavvson effectively grabbed control of the crease from starter Marc-Andre Fleury, going 22-9-7 with three shutouts in 39 appearances. He notched a 2.10 goals against average and .931 save percentage, ranking second in the NHL in both categories behind Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark of Boston.
Gustavvson made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut at Dallas on April 17, making a franchise record 51 saves in a 3-2 double overtime win. Instead of riding the hot hand, the Wild started Fleury in game two and were routed 7-3. Gustavvson returned to the net for game 3 but was by his own admission, ordinary. Overall, he went 2-3 with a 2.33 GAA and a .921 SV% in five playoff starts, ranking fourth in the NHL in GAA and T-5th in SV% in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Wild entered the off-season knowing there were significant challenges due to salary cap constraints, with signing Gustavvson to a multi-year deal the club's top priority. As it turns out, he is in reality the final domino to fall, effectively cementing the 2023-24 roster.
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