Wild, Dubnyk to begin contract talks this week

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The Minnesota Wild are expected to meet with the agent for Devan Dubnyk so they can begin discussions regarding a new contract for the soon-to-be free agent goaltender.

Dubnyk's play helped spur the Wild to a dramatic second-half turnaround, which led to the team's third straight playoff berth. He posted a 27-9-2 record with Minnesota after the team traded for him on Jan. 14.

Dubnyk's play during the second half of the season was strong enough to make him one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy.

According to the Pioneer Press, the plan is for Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher to meet with Dubnyk's agent Mike Liut. Those talks could happen as soon as Tuesday as both men are at the NHL scouting combine.

While both Dubnyk and Fletcher have expressed a strong desire to continue their relationship, the Wild don't have a lot of cap space, and contract negotiations could be interesting because Dubnyk's success in a Wild sweater was quite a bit different than his other stops.

The Star Tribune's Michael Russo says it's clear that both sides want to strike a deal, preferably before the draft. Russo says that would eliminate the threat of Dubnyk entering the free-agent interview period prior to July 1.

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