Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin was in a meeting Monday morning when his iPhone started to buzz. It was Kirill Kaprizov’s agent, Paul Theofanous, on the other end, and he was looking to put an end to back-and-forth contract negotiations that had spanned the entirety of this offseason.

The only problem was Guerin already was in a meeting with coach Dean Evason and the rest of the coaching staff. He didn’t want to be rude to them, so he ignored the call.

“I texted him back, ‘I can’t talk. I’m in a meeting,’ ” Guerin said. “He said, ‘You should step out.’ So I said, ‘OK.’ ”

It immediately became clear to Guerin that Theofanous was ready to hammer out the details of a contract that would keep Kaprizov with the Wild for the foreseeable future.

As most everyone knows by now, that ended up being a 5-year, $45 million deal that ties Kaprizov, a 24-year-old Russian who has played just 55 NHL games, to the organization through the 2025-26 season. Last season’s Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year officially signed the deal on Tuesday night and arrived in Minnesota a few hours later.

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Things started to happen pretty quickly once Guerin and Theofanous talked Monday morning. His conversation over the phone was brief.

“He’s like,’ Hey, look, I think it’s time we get together,’ ” Guerin said. “I said, ‘I’ll see you tonight.’ ”

Though most were under the impression that Kaprizov, who had 27 goals and 24 assists for the Wild last season, was still in his native Russia, at some point in the past week Guerin got word that he was actually in Florida. This was done strategically by Kaprizov’s camp, so that whenever he signed his deal, he wouldn’t have to quarantine upon arrival in Minnesota.

As soon as Guerin got that invitation from Theofanous on Monday morning, he hopped on a private plane for Florida. At an undisclosed restaurant in South Beach, Guerin, Theofanous and Kaprizov shared a meal on Monday night.

In the months leading up to that sitdown — obviously a monumental moment for both sides — Guerin had only texted with Kaprizov a handful of times. The rest of the conversations had been exclusively between Guerin and Theofanous.

“This was the first time I sat face to face with Kirill,” Guerin said. “I think the most important thing was that Kirill and I had a chance to look across the table at each other.”

It offered a chance for Guerin to express his feeling about the past few months, and it gave Kaprizov a chance to say what he had to say about how everything had gone down.

“That was important for me to see that,” Guerin said. “That’s what we’ve kind of missed the last year and a half with all this. It’s easy to be tough on people over the phone and over a Zoom call or something like that. You can’t beat meeting in person, and I think at that point in time, it was extremely important.”

After making significant progress at that dinner, Guerin met Theofanous for breakfast Tuesday morning to iron out the final details. Soon after, Kaprizov put pen to paper.

Asked about meeting face to face with Guerin earlier this week, Kaprizov answered through a translator, saying “It was great to see him. I had a smile the whole time. I couldn’t really get it off my face.” He added that he is excited that the contract negotiations are in the rearview mirror.

“The whole process was hard,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “I thought things would get done a little bit quicker. These things take time. I completely understand. I’m really happy that I’m here now and I can just focus on hockey. Obviously extremely happy to be a part of the Minnesota Wild.”

Admittedly, there were days when Guerin thought a deal with Kaprizov might not get done before training camp. Who could blame him? The contract negotiations literally dragged out until the eve of players reporting to TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul.

But Guerin made sure never to take anything too personal. He noted how he went through something similar as a player and how that helped him have empathy for Kaprizov over the past few months.

“I don’t hold a grudge; I don’t think the player is doing anything wrong by waiting this long,” Guerin said. “He’s well within his rights and he’s doing what he feels is right for him. I had no problem with the process or anything like that.”

All the while, Guerin remained confident that both sides would be able to come to an agreement at some point. He also emphasized that he never once believed a report that surfaced this offseason that Kaprizov was considering playing in the KHL back home in Russia.

“He wants to be here,” Guerin said. “I didn’t lose one ounce of sleep over that.”

Maybe the most difficult thing about the past few months, Guerin said, was the fact that there was no precedent set for this type of scenario.

Looking at some of the NHL’s other highest-paid players, they had at least a few seasons under their belt when they secured their first really big contract.

Meanwhile, though he won the Calder Trophy after a incredible rookie season, Kaprizov has played just 55 games in the NHL, including an underwhelming performance in the first-round playoff series loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

“That was tough,” Guerin said. “We tried to just kind of forecast what we think he’s going to be. There’s a limit to that.”

Still, the Wild absolutely had to get a deal done. As Guerin noted, the impact Kaprizov brings goes way beyond the skills he brings on the ice.

“He’s helped bring a new look to the Minnesota Wild,” Guerin said. “He’s an exciting player, and that’s worth something, too. I think he’s right where he should be. I think he’s worth every penny of this.”

As the dust settled on Tuesday night, and news of the deal started to go viral on social media, Guerin and Kaprizov hopped a private plane back to Minnesota. Just them on board. Nobody else.

“He spoke English to me the whole time, by the way, on the 3 1/2 hour flight,” Guerin said with a laugh. “He used a little bit of Google Translate. We had a great flight. We got caught up on a lot of different things. But it was all about moving forward.”

All thanks to that impromptu trip to Florida.

“I think we both felt that we needed to do it to get something done,” Guerin said while talking to reporters Wednesday with Kaprizov by his side. “I think it was the right call. We had talked about doing something like this long before. It was tough when Kirill was in his hometown (in Russia). That’s a little longer flight.”

Saying that, Guerin glanced over at Kaprizov, smiling and assuring him, “I would’ve gone.”

Whatever it takes to get Kaprizov signed. That’s been Guerin’s message throughout this whole process. Now it’s done.