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Dumba agrees to five-year contract with Wild

Defenseman gets $6 million per season, avoids arbitration hearing @NHLdotcom

Matt Dumba agreed to terms on a five-year, $30 million contract with the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. It has an annual average value of $6 million.

The defenseman, who turns 24 on July 25, had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday.

"Five more years, I think of five solid years in Minnesota," Dumba said. "It has become home for me. It was a no-brainer. ... I'm very appreciative and happy to know I'm going to be in the State of Hockey for five more years.

"I do believe we do have something really, really strong here, so I think we can make a push. It's exciting to think about it that way."

Video: Dumba re-signs with the Wild on five-year contract

Dumba had NHL career highs in goals (14), assists (36) and points (50) in 82 regular-season games with the Wild last season. He was second among Minnesota defensemen in points, one behind Ryan Suter. Dumba had two points (one goal, one assist) in five Stanley Cup Playoff games. The Wild lost to the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference First Round in five games.

"I look back at my personal growth over the season and I want that to just be the start," Dumba said. "I think I started the year a little slow, to be honest, and if I can play at the pace I was down the stretch the entire season, I think, I hope, I'm just scratching the surface.

"If anything changes, it's going to be just that constant drive to accomplish something that we haven't and get past that second round of the playoffs and get to that Stanley Cup. I think our time is now, and we've got to start talking about it now and getting everyone on that same page." 

Minnesota selected Dumba in the first round (No. 7) of the 2012 NHL Draft. He has 128 points (44 goals, 84 assists) in 310 NHL games and eight points (three goals, five assists) in 26 playoff games.

"If you look at Matt's production, I guess over the last three years really, if you really break it down with all the defensemen that have since '05-06 been able to score in double digits in goals and have been this productive, it's a pretty elite group," Wild general manager Paul Fenton said. "He's one of four guys (Aaron Ekblad, Drew Doughty, Dion Phaneuf) that has had three consecutive years of 10-plus goals before he's 23 years old; when you look at it in that light and you're seeing him going forward as possibly getting better, then it certainly made sense to go in the terms that we did. "

Video: WPG@MIN, Gm3: Dumba wires wrister past Hellebuyck

The Wild have their top four defensemen signed for at least the next two seasons. Suter has seven years remaining on his contract, Jonas Brodin has three years remaining, and Jared Spurgeon has two years remaining. Minnesota signed Greg Pateryn to a three-year contract July 1. 

"With the top four that we have and all the different situations we can play in in addition to [Pateryn] and some of the other guys and the younger guys, older guys, [Nate Prosser], all these guys, it's a good mix of guys, and I think you need that depth for sure [on defense]," Dumba said.

Suter could miss the beginning of the season because of an ankle injury sustained March 31. He missed the final four games of the regular season and did not play in the playoffs.

"Our top four, this actually solidifies us," Fenton said. "We made the free agent signing of Pateryn to try to balance us out a little bit. ... I love the competitiveness that Matt brings to the game on top of the offense, and I think that was the attraction here; we wanted to keep our defense intact here."

Tweet from @mnwild: A moment they'll never forget.

Dumba was one of two Wild restricted free agents with an arbitration hearing pending. Forward Jason Zucker has one scheduled for July 28.

"Certainly you want to stay as optimistic as you can," Fenton said. "We've been very much concentrating on this when you're that close in dates to these two arbitrations. We've talked to [Zucker's] representatives several times. Now we have the rest of this week. It'll certainly be something that we're going to try to work on and get a resolution." correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report

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