There weren’t that many intriguing names this summer among the free agents for NHL teams to choose from, but the Minnesota Wild managed to sign the two names that managed to stand out – Zach Parise, leaving the New Jersey Devils; Ryan Suter, leaving the Nashville Predators.
For Parise, it’s more than just a simple transfer from one team to the next. He was born in Minneapolis. His father, J. P. Parisé, played for the Minnesota North Stars. From the beginning it seems like it’s going to be a two player deal for any team that tries to sign them, like the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks tried to do. Parise and Suter are good friends, playing together for the USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics, winning a Silver medal after a dramatic final against Canada.
Parise convinced Suter to leave Nashville after 7 seasons, which included 5 playoff appearances and one All-Star game (2012), and join the Wild for exactly the same contract he’s getting. Both signed for 13 years and $98 million, making a team that missed the playoffs four straight season look a whole of a lot more dangerous going into 2012-2013.
While the Devils weren’t that surprised with Parise’s decision, as he let their GM know that the only team that could convince him to leave the Stanley Cup finalists was an offer from his home town. The Devils made an offer that was described as ‘competitive.’
For the Predators, it was a lot more surprising that Suter left. Probably disappointed as well. They made a 13-year, $90 million offer to the defender who had 7 goals and 39 assists last season, setting a career high in points. He was considered as the best defenseman in the 2012 free agency crop. Parise finished the season with 31 goals and 38 assists, scoring a postseason high 8 goals.