OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 29: Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators and Team Chara poses prior to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place on January 29, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Minnesota Wild have been in on the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise sweepstakes from the beginning to be sure, but not many have really given them much of a chance to sign either of the two star players since free agency opened. But late Tuesday, reports surfaced that the Wild were trying to make a deal with both players and that a deal wasn't just possible, it seemed like it could be likely.
Well, it looks like it was more likely than one may have thought. First, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reported that the Wild agreed to terms on a 13-year contract with Suter after some strong maneuvering on Tuesday to really put themselves in place. The report also stated that the Wild were talking to Parise at the same time about a 13-year deal and that they were trying to close both deals as soon as possible.
Russo followed up with a Tweet confirming that the Wild are going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2012-13:
#mnwild has agreed to terms on Zach Parise to 13-year deal; Now it's official. Maybe they'll announce Winter Classic today for trifecta. ha— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) July 4, 2012
Suter and Parise are the top two free agents this year and it's a huge get for the Wild to have them both come in. Minnesota wasn't really deep in the discussions until Tuesday, so it's miraculous that they were able to come in and get a deal done. Suter and Parise have noted that they've been talking to one another throughout this whole process, and have also noted that they would like to play on the same team going forward.
It wasn't a certainty that Parise and Suter were holding out for a team that had the resources and was willing to sign the both of them, but perhaps that's what tipped the scales for the Wild. You have Suter and Parise saying they'd like to play with one another earlier on Tuesady, then you have the Wild getting seriously involved late Tuesday, and two blockbuster deals done Wednesday. Sure looks like they're related.
Minnesota was at the top of the NHL standings last season earlier on in the season. They made some drastic changes in bringing in Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley, while moving Brent Burns to the San Jose Sharks, and it paid off initially. But they were quickly handed a losing streak and fell behind, eventually missing the playoffs. One has to think that Suter and Parise saw the potential in that early run and the Wild are now poised to be a big threat next season.