The NHL free agency opened. We all waited. We all watched Twitter and nearly broke or refresh buttons. We waited some more. We got gitty when our team was mentioned in a bogus rumor. We waited some more. Now it is all over.
The biggest names on the market, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, kept the world waiting, but announced today that they BOTH, you read that correctly, will be signing with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild agreed to terms on 13-year contracts with both players locking them up through the 2024-2025 season with a cap hit of just over $7.5 million each year.
Now with theses two signed, the other 29 teams will wonder where they went wrong and if they even had a shot at landing even one of the two.
There were reports that the two had talked and mentioned the idea of signing and playing for the same team, and if that was the case there was only a few teams that would be able to ante up that much cash, and the Wild were one of them.
"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."Parise, now former New Jersey Devils' captain, lead the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals last season and has played there for his entire seven-year career. However, it was believed that Minnesota was a front runner in the Parise chase because of the family ties Parise has to the area, his parents live there and he has a home in the area.
The Suter signing came out of the blue, most thought he would sign with the Detroit Red Wings or re-up with the Nashville Predators. Instead Suter jumped ship, and left Nashville with a sizable hole on their blue line.
Nonetheless, the big fish are now gone. The signing of the two will push the NHL free agency into full swing, and let the fun begin.