Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov reportedly is being retained in his native Russia while authorities there are investigating an alleged attempt to evade military service. Although reports are speculative, Wild owner Craig Leipold is naturally concerned.
I asked Leipold if the Kaprizov conjecture makes him nervous.
“It’s pretty hard not to be little nervous about it, right? Leipold said. “I mean, I think every team that has Russian players that are back in Russia right now, they can all say ‘No, I’m not nervous right now, I’m not nervous.’
“Until he gets back into the United States, I’m going to be a little nervous.”
Some hockey people are confident that whatever issue there might be with Kaprizov will be resolved.
“He’s too much of an icon over there and represents what they are in hockey,” a source said. “And this story doesn’t have the same impact as that of Brittany Griner.”
Griner, the celebrated WNBA star, remains imprisoned in Russia on a drug possession charge.
“(Kaprizov) is neutral right now — he’s just being quiet, he’s laying low, doing the right things — he just wants to be back in his home country and visiting his family,” Leipold added. “We don’t expect any problems, and hopefully there won’t be. We, just like 30 other teams in the league, are going to be happy once everybody gets back in the States.”
Leipold said he follows the Kaprizov speculation “as closely as (GM Bill Guerin) does. He is my source of information, and I know he follows it pretty closely. And that’s probably all I want to say about it. Less said is probably better.”
Guerin follows the Kaprizov issue, if there is one, daily.
Leipold wants to sign Kaprizov, 25, who has four years left on a five-year contract guaranteeing $45 million, to a maximum-allowed extension when he can.
“Absolutely,” he said “We love him. Listen, if we could have signed him for eight years, we would have.”
Max Meyer, 23, the former Woodbury and Gophers star, found out Thursday evening he would make his major league pitching debut for the Marlins in Miami against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. On Friday, he got on a Delta flight from Syracuse (N.Y.), where his Jacksonville (Fla.) Triple-A team was playing.
Meyer’s flight en route to Miami connected in Atlanta. By pure coincidence, as he walked off the plane, there were his parents and other family members stepping off a Delta flight from the Twin Cities en route to Miami to attend Max’s big league premiere.
“He landed exactly when we landed. It was crazy,” Max’s father Kent said. “Nice little bonus.”
Meyer’s family resides in Woodbury.
“It’s a dream come true,” Kent said of he and wife Cathy’s son getting to the major leagues. “This weekend is a celebration.”
Among gifts Jim Kaat received from the Twins during a classy 30-minute No. 36 jersey retirement ceremony on Saturday was a personalized set of PXG golf clubs. Kaat, now 83, at age 75 shot his age both right-handed and left-handed. He hits his long irons left-handed, his short irons right-handed.
The Twins will have nearly three dozen staff members in Cooperstown (N.Y.) on July 24 for the Hall of Fame inductions of Kaat and Tony Oliva. The evening before, the Twins will throw a massive party (nearly 400 guests) at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown for the pair.
Attending the party are expected to be each of the living Twins Hall of Famers, including Rod Carew, Jack Morris, Paul Molitor, Jim Thome, Dave Winfield, Bert Blyleven and maybe Steve Carlton.
Blyleven, a 7-handicap golfer, knocked an 8-iron into the No. 8, 140-yard hole en route to a 73 at Olympic Hills the other day for his second career ace. By the way, Blyleven, 71, who had the best curveball in baseball, recently had his right shoulder replaced.
“Wear and tear,” said Blyleven, who won 287 games over a 22-year career. “I’m not allowed to throw anymore.”
On the eve of his jersey retirement, Kaat threw a private party at the Loews downtown hotel. On Sunday, he flies to his home in Vermont before heading to Cooperstown.
The Twins, who rank No. 20 of baseball’s 30 clubs in attendance (21,772 per game) and surpassed the 1 million mark on Friday, have plenty of games left against Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox and are hopeful of drawing nearly 2 million this season. Among concerns for fans have been inflation and civil disorder in downtown Minneapolis.
Kent Hrbek, who with his girlfriend will take a motorhome to Cooperstown for the Oliva and Kaat inductions, on having had his No. 14 jersey retired at Target Field in 1995: “It’s humbling, man. You walk into this beautiful ballpark and you see a number up there, and you go, wow, I wore that. The Twins were kind enough to think that nobody else should wear it. It’s pretty cool.”
Former Vikings quarterback Brooks Bollinger was a teammate for part of 2009 Detroit Lions training camp with another QB, new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell.
“He’s a great human who understands the position,” Bollinger said. “He grew up in this (Vikings) offense. He had some time with (Vikings QB Kirk Cousins) early-on in Washington. The energy he has brought to the team and organization is really positive, and I’m all in where it’s headed.”
Among college football’s 43 bowl games this season, the Gophers are projected to play Texas Christian in the First Responder Bowl on Dec. 27 in Dallas, per 247sports.com.
Congratulations to irrepressible Pioneer Press sportswriter Chris Tomasson on his recent myriad awards — national and state — for his Vikings coverage.
Free agent Matthew Hurt, 22, the 6-foot-9 former Duke star from Rochester Marshall, had a three-point field goal and four rebounds in 11 minutes for the Milwaukee Bucks against Dallas in the Las Vegas Summer League. If the NBA doesn’t work for Hurt, he’ll have options overseas.
Hurt’s brother Michael, the 6-7 former Gopher, graduated with two masters degrees and is working in finance business travel in the Twin Cities. Sister Katie, 5-11, will be a full scholarship freshman basketball player at Lehigh University this fall.
Jericho Sims, 23, the Minneapolis Christo Rey grad whose father Charles played for Bill Musselman with the Gophers, has signed a two-way contract with the New York Knicks for a deal that could be worth nearly $6 million over three years. Charles is a retired dentist in the Twin Cities.
With his two-year, guaranteed $2.9 million contract expired, former Gopher Daniel Oturu from Cretin-Derham Hall is playing for the Orlando Magic in Las Vegas trying to land a new deal.
Before acquiring Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves were 60-1 odds to win next season’s NBA championship, per BetOnline.ag. Now they’re 22-1.
That was Tyus Jones, owner of a new $30 million, two-year contract from the Memphis Grizzlies, playing in the Pulley League at Minnehaha Academy last week.
Tireless Jeff Munneke, the first person hired by the Timberwolves in 1988, celebrated 34 years with the organization as VP of Fan Experience the other day.
The Packers are 1 1/2-point favorites over the Vikings in the season opener on Sept. 11 in Minneapolis.
Oliva, a week out from his Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, is among celebrities expected to attend Monday’s sold-out Taste Fore The Tour VEAP food pantry fundraiser at Interlachen Country Club that serves communities in Minneapolis and several suburbs. Among celebrities: Matt Birk, Ben Leber, Lea B. Olsen, Kyle Rudolph, Larry Fitzgerald, Devan Dubnyk, Derek Falvey, Alex Goligoski, Ben Johnson, Glen Mason, Randall McDaniel, Rocco Mediate, Paul Molitor, Lou Nanne, John Randle, Scott Studwell, Carrie Tollefson and Lindsay Whalen.
Happy birthday: St. Paul’s Dennis Ryan, who has worked under every Vikings head coach except Norm Van Brocklin and is about to enter his 43rd season as the team’s head equipment manager, turned 63 the other day.
The Twins’ incomparable play-by-play radio voice, Cory Provus, turned 44. He was 33 when he came to the Twins.
Mendota Heights’ Jack Boland last week scored an ace on the No. 3, 70-yard hole with an 8-iron at the Mendota Heights Par-3 golf course. He’s 7 years old.
While Southview Country Club member Adam Thielen of the Vikings tied Annika Sorenstam for fourth in the celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe last weekend, Mardy Fish was sixth, Mike Modano seventh, Aaron Rodgers ninth, T.J. Oshie 11th, Harrison Smith tied for 27th, Larry Fitzgerald tied for 44th and Joe Mauer tied for 48th.
PGA Tour winner Brandon Matthews, with John Harris as moderator, speaks at a Dunkers breakfast on Tuesday at Interlachen Country Club.
In what is believed to be a four-generation first in U.S. golf, Deephaven’s Carson Herron, a sophomore at New Mexico, last week qualified for next month’s U.S. Amateur in New Jersey. Herron is the son of Champions Tour player Tim Herron, who also played in the U.S. Amateur, as did Tim’s father, Carson Sr., and Senior’s father Carson Lee Herron. Only the youngest Herron has yet to also play in a U.S. Open.
DON’T PRINT THAT
There was no friction between Wes Johnson, 50, and the first-place Twins regarding his sudden departure as pitching coach for the same job at Louisiana State. The college lifestyle was simply better for him and his family.
The Twins figured when they became the first major league team to hire a college pitching coach (Arkansas) four years ago that there was a risk he might want to return to college. Recruiting was also a factor in the timing.
The New York Yankees, loaded with pitching, are seeking a left-handed hitter before the trade deadline, Aug. 2. Max Kepler? He’s hitting .248 with nine home runs at age 29, but the Yankees’ Joey Gallo, 28, is batting just .161 with 10 homers.
Nobody’s saying much, but the Twins will have an interesting decision to make when Miguel Sano, rehabbing in St. Paul, is ready to return to Minneapolis within the next two weeks. Sano, 29, is in the final season of a $30 million, three-year contract, and the Twins have a $14 million option for next year. The Twins would have to make a roster spot for him to join the club for the rest of the season.
Twins pitching has a 2.60 earned-run average in ninth innings, but 5.18 in eighth innings.
With Rob Gronkowski, 33, having retired again, ex-Vikings tight end-free agent Kyle Rudolph, 32, is a consideration to team up with QB Tom Bradyin Tampa Bay.
There’s talk that free agent ex-Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr could end up with the Dallas Cowboys.
Neither ex-Vikings coach Mike Zimmer nor son Adam, the ex-Vikings co-defensive coordinator, have gotten NFL jobs heading into this season.
In order to recruit on an elite national men’s basketball level, some experts figure the Gophers will need major Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals for several players, probably in the range of $25,000 apiece per month. Yes, that’s per month.
The Gophers have the 49th-best football recruiting class in the country, just behind Northwestern, per credible 247sports.com.
Nice deal: In the final season (2027-28) of his contract extension, the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns will be paid $756,097 per game.
Could Gus Johnson be the Timberwolves’ new play-by-play voice?
Tom Lehman had to withdraw from the recent U.S. Senior Open because of partial knee replacement surgery. The ex-Gopher plans to return to competition in September.
Meanwhile, Tom and brother Jim and some high-powered attorneys, water experts and prominent community leaders are asking the Minneapolis Park Board to work with them on a plan to fix the storied Hiawatha public course’s drainage dilemma and keep it as an 18-hole course rather than nine holes.
Aside from center-fielder Drew Gilbert at Tennessee via Stillwater, this year is considered light on native Minnesota prospects — high school and college — for the 20-round major league draft that runs Sunday through Tuesday. There are just a couple of local players with a chance to be picked.
The 3M Open that begins on Thursday at the TPC in Blaine has five pro-am events costing between $2,500 to $6,000 per golfer.
Ex-Gopher Erik van Rooyen had to withdraw a day before the British Open at St. Andrews due to a sore neck.
Former Gopher Angus Flanagan, who won the recent TapeMark tournament with a final round 61, missed qualifying for the British Open.
“It’s been a bit of a rough ride since turning pro,” he said. “It’s just mentally different. I’ve kind of deemed this first year as like an apprenticeship. Throughout school, I deemed myself to be a kind of a bigger fish in a smaller pool. As soon as you turn pro, no one cares too much about how you played in college.
Tony Oliva, 83, asked Saturday what will be his opening line of his Hall of Fame acceptance speech next week in Cooperstown: “Thank you God — it’s a miracle.”
Is Kirill Kaprizov still in Russia? ›
Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov has left Russia to return to the United States, The Athletic's Michael Russo reports. Multiple media reports from Russia earlier in the off-season said Kaprizov was wanted in his native country for allegedly buying a fake military ID card in 2017.Where is Kirill Kaprizov right now? ›
Kirill KaprizovIs Kirill Kaprizov in the United States? ›
After a tense couple of weeks, Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov has left Russia and is back in the United States, sources told The Athletic's Michael Russo. Kaprizov departed from his home nation late last week by way of Turkey and touched down in New York City on the weekend.What is happening to Kirill Kaprizov? ›
Back in July, Kaprizov's name was linked to a Russian investigation into alleged military service evasion. At the 2022 NHL Draft, Wild general manager Bill Guerin said that Kaprizov was still in Russia and doing well. "He's in Russia, and he's doing fine," Guerin said, via CBS Minnesota.Can Russian travel to USA? ›
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States temporarily must obtain a nonimmigrant visa Citizens of qualified countries may be able to visit the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (the Russian Federation does not currently participate in this program).Who is 97 on the wild? ›
League sources say Kaprizov tried to return to the U.S. from Dubai, but couldn't get back into the country because he currently doesn't have a work visa.Is Kaprizov back? ›
Relieved Wild welcome Kaprizov back after summer in Russia
Impact Kaprizov had a minor surgery in the offseason, but it was never a real concern to sideline him early in the season. The 25-year-old will look to build upon his 47-goal, 108-point campaign from last year as the Wild's top forward.
How many points does Kirill Kaprizov have this season? ›
In accordance with national laws, documentary evidence allowing uninterrupted stay in United States for more than 90 days may be a Student or Work visa, work permit, permanent residency (Green Card).What's it like living in Russia? ›
Life in Russia can be quite challenging. The climate is harsh and many cities have high levels of pollution. There is also a relatively high crime rate and a number of security issues to take into consideration.How many Russians are leaving Russia? ›
In this third wave alone, nearly 300,000 Russian citizens have left Russia. Many have gone to Kazakhstan, Serbia, Georgia and Finland. Putin signed a decree introducing prison terms of up to 15 years for wartime acts, including voluntary surrender and desertion during mobilization or war.How much is a Kirill Kaprizov rookie card worth? ›
A card that harkens back to Kirill's time in the KHL that includes his autograph. Although quite rare (only 5 made), the value is surprisingly reasonable at somewhere around $100.Who has been on the Wild the longest? ›
Skaters. Pierre-Marc Bouchard has spent his entire NHL career with the Wild, joining the team in 2002. In five seasons in Minnesota, Nick Schultz has scored 62 points.How old is Parise? › How good is Kirill Kaprizov? ›
Kirill Kaprizov's 2021-22 season was so good that — four months after the regular season ended — we're still not done finding new ways to be amazed. Anyone who's seen him play can tell you he was one of the NHL's most impactful scorers. Heck, you can just tell that by going to an NHL leaderboard.Does Kirill Kaprizov have a house in Minnesota? ›
Kirill Kaprizov's house
The Russian uprising star lives in an apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
What nationality is Kaprizov? ›Where is Kaprizov? ›
Kirill KaprizovWhat stick does Kirill Kaprizov use? ›
Kirill Kaprizov a left handed wing uses a Bauer Nexus Geo stick, Bauer Supreme 2s Pro Gloves, Bauer Pants, Bauer Supreme Mach Skates and a Bauer 4500 Helmet.How much is a Kirill Kaprizov rookie card worth? ›
A card that harkens back to Kirill's time in the KHL that includes his autograph. Although quite rare (only 5 made), the value is surprisingly reasonable at somewhere around $100.Does Kirill Kaprizov have a house in Minnesota? ›
Kirill Kaprizov's house
The Russian uprising star lives in an apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Kirill the Thrill” Steps Up
He somehow found another level and he brought it. He led the team with eight points, seven goals, and one assist in six games. He was one of the few Wild players that were consistently good throughout the entire first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.
A Connor McDavid rookie card has set a new price record among "modern" NHLers at an auction this month, going for $144,000. Connor McDavid is re-writing the record books -- both on and off the ice.How much is a Tim Stutzle rookie card worth? ›
|2020-21 UD Allure Green Quartz XRC TIM STUTZLE Stuetzle /99 Rc PSA 10 Pop 1||$1,000.00||BIN|
|TIM STUTZLE ROOKIE OTTAWA 2020-21 SKYBOX METAL UNIVERSE GRADED GEM MINT 10||$62.79||BIN|
|TIM STUTZLE #199 OPC PLATINUM MARQUEE ROOKIE RAINBOW 2020-21 NEAR GEM MINT 9.5||$44.56||BIN|
|2018 Upper Deck Team Canada Juniors #7 Cale Makar||$1.05|
|2019 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Glossy Rookies #R-1 Cale Makar||$3.13|
|2019 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Glossy Rookies Copper #R-1 Cale Makar||$4.68|
|2019 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Glossy Rookies Gold #R-1 Cale Makar||$8.18|
Is Kaprizov staying in the NHL? ›
The Minnesota Wild and Kirill Kaprizov have OFFICIALLY agreed on a five-year contract that keeps him in the State of Hockey through the 2025-26 season.Who is Kirill Kaprizov translator? ›
Kirill Kaprizov and translator Ilya. He's heading home later today: “This year was so much better than last year.What nationality is Kirill Kaprizov? › What Kirill Kaprizov salary? ›
Kirill Kaprizov signed a 5 year / $45,000,000 contract with the Minnesota Wild, including $45,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $9,000,000. In 2022-23, Kaprizov will earn a base salary of $10,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $9,000,000.
Kaprizov now has 105 points on the year with 45 goals and 60 assists.How many points does Kaprizov have this year? ›
On Tuesday morning, the Minnesota Wild shocked the entire hockey world and those that reached far into the continent, as they announced that they will be buying out the remaining four years on both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter's massive extensions they signed as free agents back in the summer of 2012.Is Ryan Suter retired? ›
Zachary Justin Parise (born July 28, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey left winger of French-Canadian origin, and alternate captain for the New York Islanders in the National Hockey League (NHL).