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NHL Free Agency: How The Ryan Suter and Zach Parise Contracts Break Down

The smartest thing the Minnesota Wild did today was sign the two biggest free agents they could, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.

The second smartest thing they did was structure the contracts in a way that reduces the cap hit over the first three seasons of the deal. Here's how their identical deals break down, via ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun:

Year 1: $2 million base salary + $10 million signing bonus = $12 million
Year 2: $2 million base salary + $10 million signing bonus = $12 million
Year 3: $6 million base + $5 million signing bonus = $11 million
Years 4-8: $9 million base
Year 9: $8 million base
Year 10: $6 million base
Year 11: $2 million base
Years 12-13: $1 million base

The NHL will be looking to eliminate contracts like these extremely front-loaded 13-year deals when it's time to draw up a new collective bargaining agreement.

For more coverage of free agency, stay right here with this StoryStream. For more on theWild, head over to Hockey Wilderness. And for more NHL news and analysis, be sure to visit SB Nation's NHL hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.