Wild discuss offer to holdout Gaborik
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Wild have offered Marian Gaborik a three-year, $9.5 million contract -- the second-richest deal ever presented to an NHL player coming out of his entry-level contract.
Those numbers are the first officially released by the team, whose policy prohibits such disclosure in contract negotiations. However, Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough and assistant GM Tom Lynn said they pulled reporters from the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Star Tribune together to discuss the deal to quash rumors and misconceptions about the negotiations.
The salary would be supplemented by performance-based incentives of up to $1.75 million per season, Lynn said.
Only Paul Kariya, in 1996, received a better offer.
Risebrough said Gaborik's agent, Allan Walsh, said Gaborik would take nothing less than $6.5 million a year on a three-year contract.
"When I tell you the $6.5 (million) number, we still haven't heard what he's thinking of in terms of bonuses," Risebrough said.
At first, Walsh denied that; but then confirmed that the offer was $5 million for the first year, $7 million the second and $7.5 million the third -- or an average of $6.5 million per year.
Asked if Gaborik, 21, will play this season if the Wild's offer is indeed final, Walsh said, "Not this year."
Walsh said he was upset that the Wild went public with figures from the negotiations.
"The comments made (Saturday) do not bring the parties closer together. They push them farther apart," he said.
Walsh said the Wild made between $12 million and $14 million in unexpected playoff money last season, when Minnesota advanced to the Western Conference finals.
"Marian Gaborik emerged as a franchise player. ... It's unlikely the team would have gone as far as it did minus his 17 (playoff) points."
Risebrough said he decided to go public to quash rumors and clear up misconceptions about the negotiations.
The Sept. 10 offer to Gaborik was Minnesota's second; the first came at the NHL draft in June.
Each of his first three seasons, Gaborik received $1.075 million in guaranteed salary. He pocketed $350,000 in incentives in 2000-01, $3.3 million in 01-02 and $3.4 million in 02-03.
Incentives in the Wild's Sept. 10 offer would kick in if Gaborik scored 40 goals or compiled 80 assists. Either threshold would earn him $250,000, Lynn said. Successive performance plateaus would bring Gaborik more money, capped at $1.75 million. He would have to score 60 goals or record 110 points to hit his maximum incentive amount.
Gaborik, Minnesota's first-ever All-Star last season with 30 goals and 35 assists, played this fall for Dukla Trencin, a team in his home country of Slovakia.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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