Parise and Suter headed to Minnesota

A Wild Reunion for the Two Biggest Free Agents on the Market

7/4/12 in NHL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Feb 05 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise (9) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the Prudential Center.  Mandatory Credit: Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIREIt’s not quite the same magnitude of a Bosh and LeBron union in Miami, but it’s along similar lines: two friends agreeing to the same contract deal in order to play with each other for a long period of time – after first playing with each other on the American hockey team.  Switch out hockey for basketball, and you have yourself pretty much the same story. 
Yesterday, all-star defenseman Ryan Suter turned down a 13-year $90 million contract with his Nashville Predators, and then today, he signed an almost identical deal (13 years, $93 million) to join the Minnesota Wild.
Why the Wild, you ask?
Suter’s contract wasn’t the only big victory for the Wild today.  The most enticing free agent forward on the market, Zach Parise, had a list of suitors that included just about every team in the league, but the Devils couldn’t come up with the money to keep their captain and in the end, Parise signed the same contract as Suter.  Both players were raised in the Midwest – Parise in Minnesota and Suter in Wisconsin – so the decision to meet in Minnesota isn’t completely random.
Of course the Wild don’t have a Dwyane Wade to add alongside the two big free agents, but they do have an Nov. 3, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter (20) shoots during the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIREenticing group of players that just got some much-needed assistance. 
29-year-old captain Mikko Koivu was the team’s best player when he was on the ice last year (44 points in 55 games and a team-best +10) but the Wild also have a trio of 20+ goal scorers in Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, and Kyle Brodziak.
This past season, the Wild were last in the NHL in goals – their 177 on the year were 25 less than the next lowest scoring team Columbus – and fifth worst in the Western Conference in goals against.  They finished the season 35-36-11, 14 points out of the playoffs.  But in a league where teams can come out of seemingly nowhere to have huge seasons (Blues last year) or make deep playoff runs (Kings, obviously), you never really know who could be on top of the standings by next season’s end.  And with the addition of a top tier forward and defender, the Wild are definitely someone who should be on your radar.
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