NHL players are suddenly going wild for Minnesota.
Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune tweeted Wednesday morning that Ryan Suter has agreed to sign with the Wild, and just a few minutes later ESPN.com/ and TSN reporter Pierre LeBrun tweeted that Zach Parise decided to join Suter in Minnesota.
Details came in that the good friends, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise had both signed with the Minnesota Wild for 13 year, $98 million contracts.
The 13 year contracts are the longest in the NHL behind Kovalchuk of the Devils, DiPietro of the Islanders and Ovechkin of the Capitals, who all have 15 year deals.
From Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak on NHL.com…
Ryan and I have talked throughout the year,” Parise said. “You always say to each other wouldn’t it be great to play with each other and to play on the same team. Was it realistic all the time? I don’t know. With different teams, you have to have the availability. I know how great a player Ryan is. I played with him on different teams at several tournaments. To have the opportunity to play with a guy of that caliber is a great opportunity. We kept in touch throughout this process. You have to do what is best for you. We decided that for both of us the best fit would be Minnesota and we are excited that it worked out.
The pair chose Minnesota for several reasons. One, for “family reasons”, cited by Suter. Suter’s wife calls Minnesota home, and his father works in the youth hockey community there. Suter himself is from hop, skip and a jump away Wisconsin. Parise meanwhile, was born and raised in Minnesota, and his parents still live there. The second, and perhaps more practical reason for the decision, is that the Wild were one of the few teams that could afford both players.
Suter’s former team, the Nashville Predators had hoped to keep Suter around to keep working with fellow defenseman Shea Weber for years to come. The two of them together formed what could have been the best pairing of defensemen in the league, but the Predators will have to look elsewhere to replace Suter.
The Devils, who lost Parise, lost a team captain and leader who spent his entire seven year career with the team.
Rant Sports Five Hole Dive writer Emma Harger posts that current Wild players are very excited and have been sending their two new teammates text messages to welcome them to Minnesota. Heatley spoke with Suter and swapped texts with Parise. Both asked: can we win. Answer: yes.