Wild sign leading scorer
Two days after locking up Nino Niederreiter on a five-year deal, the Minnesota Wild also avoided arbitration Tuesday by signing last season’s leading scorer, Mikael Granlund, to a three-year, $17.25 million contract. The deal averages to an annual $5.75 million salary-cap hit and gives the Wild at least three years of cost certainty knowing it has Granlund and Niederreiter plugged in at a combined $11 million. Granlund will be paid $5.25 million for the upcoming season, $5.5 million in 2018-2019 and $6.5 million in 2019-2020. The Wild bought one of his unrestricted free-agent seasons, and like Niederreiter, there’s no no-trade clause. Granlund, 25, had a strong arbitration case after averaging nearly 19 minutes a game last season, being nominated for the Lady Byng Trophy and being one of Coach Bruce Boudreau’s most trusted soldiers when it came to defensive-zone starts and matching up against top players alongside linemate Mikko Koivu.