On the eve of training camp, the Minnesota Wild have a bit more certainty regarding their goaltending.
Minnesota announced late Thursday it has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with Darcy Kuemper. Bob McKenzie of TSN reports the deal is a one-way contract in both seasons for Kuemper and is worth $2.5 million.
Kuemper, 24, bolstered the Wild’s playoff hopes last season when he entered in January with Niklas Backstrom dealing with an injury and Josh Harding dealing with an illness.
Starting 16 straight games at one point — a franchise record for a rookie goaltender — Kuemper was 12-8-4 with a 2.43-goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 26 regular-season games last year. He set team records for wins and shutouts (2) by a rookie goaltender and finished second in starts, tied for third in shutouts, fourth in save percentage and tied for fourth in wins and goals-against average for rookie goaltenders last season with at least 10 games played.
A sixth-round draft pick by the team in 2009, Kuemper was a restricted free agent and had been seeking a one-way contract. Minnesota opens its training camp at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday.
The Wild will be without Harding, who suffered a broken foot and will be out indefinitely. Ilya Bryzgalov, who shared starts with Kuemper in the postseason last year, was invited to training camp on a professional tryout. Backstrom and John Curry return as well, as Minnesota had five goaltenders start games last year and four start at least 10.
With the Wild advancing to the second round of the playoffs last year, Kuemper went 3-1-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and one shutout in six playoff games. He made 22 saves in a 1-0 overtime win in Game 3 of the first round against the Colorado Avalanche, the first playoff shutout in franchise history.