— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 13, 2021
Per CapFriendly, their combined buyout costs are as follows:
UPDATE: The Minnesota Wild have now made both buyouts official.
— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) July 13, 2021
Zach Parise, Ryan Suter Bought Out By Minnesota Wild
Zach Parise has been the alternate captain of the Minnesota Wild for the last 10 seasons. He signed a 13-year contract in 2012-13 that would have seen him through the 2024-25 season. At 36 years of age, Parise will become an unrestricted free agent. Last season, Parise scored seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 45 games. He was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2003 NHL draft, 17th overall by the New Jersey Devils. In 1,090 career games, Parise has 393 goals, 417 assists, and 810 points.
Suter signed a matching deal with Parise, both on July 4, 2012. Suter’s been an absolute warrior for the Wild since signing the deal, even being nominated for the Norris Trophy in his first season with the team. Averaging ice time marks as high as 29:25 over the course of a full season, Suter’s been the hallmark of leadership and durability for the franchise. Over his 16-year NHL career, Suter’s played in 1,198 games, scoring 607 points. 656 of those games have been in a Wild jersey.
What This Means for the Team
From an outsider’s perspective, 810 points in 1,090 career games seems very impressive. It might even beg the question of a buyout. On one hand, Parise is still a very solid middle-six winger. He’s capable of putting up a solid 45-65 points per season. Having said that, his anchor of a contract is what warranted this buyout. With a $7.5 million cap hit per season, Parise’s hefty deal cost the team a lot of cap flexibility over the years. To make matters worse, the emergence of the post-pandemic flat cap has handcuffed the team. Unfortunately, a move needed to be made, and that move was to part ways with Parise. It’s almost even more surprising for Suter, who’s still swallowed up minutes in recent years.
On one hand, the Wild will need to fill in the production where Parise left. It’s likely they’ll be on the hunt for a middle-six winger sometime this offseason. Parise, on the other hand, is now a free agent. While there’s no way he’ll get the money he received with the Wild, there’s a chance a team may decide to take a flyer on him at an affordable deal. Despite his costly injury history, Parise can still play a part on an NHL roster. To what degree and for how long remains to be seen.
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