Multiple reports are suggesting that the Minnesota Wild have made the biggest coup of NHL free agency signing the top 2 players available. It is a move reminiscent of the 2010 Miami Heat signing Lebron James and Chris Bosh, while retaining Dwayne Wade.
Parise and Suter were clearly the two prize players in this free agent pool, and their signings should immediately catapult Minnesota from Pretender to Contender Status. The Players have both signed 13 year contracts, ensuring that they will be the faces of the Wild franchise for the foreseeable future. One can only assume that Jake Dowell who also signed with the Wild will play the role of Bosh here (just kidding).
With Mikko Koivu already established as a number 1 centre, and wingers like Dany Heatley, Devin Setogucchi, and depth in Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cullen, the Wild played well last year before injuries hit. With stud prospects like Michael Granlund, and Charlie Coyle, along with solid depth prospects like Zack Phillips, Chad Rau, Johan Larsson, and Jason Zucker on the way, the addition of Parise may make the Wild offence into one that is truly feared in the Western Conference for the first time in the team’s history.
Suter gives the Wild an experienced number 1 blueliner, something they clearly lacked last season. They have a decent enough group of depth players on the blue line, but really needed a leader. It would appear that they have that now. The Wild also have Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba as high ranking defensive prospects.
With Backstrom and Harding as solid a tandem as any in the NHL, and highly touted Matt Hackett knocking on the door, the Wild are also set between the pipes.
We should remember that these are 13 year deals, and that the Wild do not have to win the Stanley Cup this year. They can use Suter and Parise to make them into a playoff team now, and a true cup contender as their prospects emerge.
Its an exciting day for Minnesota hockey fans, and they can now go out and celebrate the 4th of July.