Source: Wild's Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba file for arbitration
ST. PAUL — Ahead of Thursday's deadline, Wild players Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba filed for arbitration, a source confirmed to the Pioneer Press.
This is standard practice for restricted free agents in the NHL and the Wild still can work toward signing both players to long-term deals until a potential arbitration hearing in late July or early August.
In the current landscape, it's rare that an arbitration case actually reaches the hearing stage. Last offseason both Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter filed for arbitration, then agreed to long-term contracts a couple of weeks later.
No matter how this plays out, Zucker, 26, and Dumba, 23, are both in line for big paydays.
Zucker had 33 goals and 31 assists last season, looking the part of a playmaker that the Wild have long coveted. He is coming off a two-year, $4 million contract he signed on June 29, 2016.
Dumba had 14 goals and 36 assists last season, emerging as the Wild's top offensive force on the blue line. While he still takes too many chances, and can be caught out of position because of it, Dumba can do things few others on the blue line would even dream of. His previous contract was for two years and $5.1 million, signed on July 28, 2016.
After signing seven players — four on one-way contracts, three on two-way deals — on the opening day of free agency, the Wild have $14.2 million to spend. A bulk of that figure will go toward re-signing Zucker and Dumba, and doesn't account for roster hopefuls like Jordan Greenway and Luke Kunin.