The Minnesota Wild were the clear-cut winners in the 2012 free agency class when they managed to retain the services of the two biggest players on the open market with identical 13-year, $98 million contracts to both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
However, along with their talents comes the burden of a huge financial commitment in the salary cap era, which potentially could cause problems down the line. Due to some creative contract structuring and foresight by the Minnesota front-office, that shouldn't become an issue.
Here is the structure of both Parise and Suter's contract via Twin Cities:
2012-13: $10 million signing bonus, $2 million base salary
2013-14: $10 million signing bonus, $2 million base salary
2014-15: $5 million signing bonus, $6 million base salary
2015-16: $9 million base salary
2016-17: $9 million base salary
2017-18: $9 million base salary
2018-19: $9 million base salary
2019-20: $9 million base salary
2020-21: $8 million base salary
2021-22: $6 million base salary
2022-23: $2 million base salary
2023-24: $1 million base salary
2024-25: $1 million base salary
By structuring the deals like this, both payers will have an annual cap-hit of $7.53 million per season despite the changes in real money being paid.
This actually saves the club a little over $2 million dollars in terms of the cap-hit during the peak years of the deal when the organization is paying the two players $9 million dollars in real money.
Most importantly, the Wild are only committed to Parise, Suter and Mikko Koivu past the 2014-15 season, which will allow the team to have salary cap relief throughout the years. While the club probably won't be making any more huge splashes any time soon, they will have a superstar core to develop around.