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Blockbuster: Minnesota wins Zach Parise and Ryan Suter sweepstakes — for $196 million

Jul 4, 2012, 12:35 PM EDT


The Minnesota Wild have officially won free agency.

That’s the big news on this July 4 holiday as the Wild announced they’ve landed both of this year’s prize UFAs — former Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter and former New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise.

The deals cost Minnesota a fortune. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the pair got matching 13-year, $98 million contracts, meaning both will have an average annual cap hit of $7.54 million.

And yes, the Wild just dropped $196 million dollars.

This will go down as one of, if not the, biggest days in franchise history. The Wild instantly become a Western Conference contender and may have shifted the landscape in terms of free agent philosophy — in a market where heavy hitters like Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh were all angling for Suter and Parise’s services, a team that’s missed the playoffs four straight years (and never been considered a big spender) reeled in the two biggest fish.


— Turns out Lou Nanne was right all along.

According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Nashville’s offer to retain Suter was 13 years, $90 million.

TSN’s Darren Dreger says Wild players are “ecstatic” about the signings. Dany Heatley has reportedly been in contact with both Parise and Suter. “Both asked: can we win,” Dreger tweeted.  “Answer: yes.”

— Based on annual cap hit, Parise and Suter are now the NHL’s seventh and eighth highest-paid players. Only Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Eric Staal, Rich Nash and Vincent Lecavalier average more per year.

— Next season, the Wild will have $35.2 million (roughly half of the $70.2 salary cap) committed to five players — Parise, Suter, Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Niklas Backstrom.

194 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jnealsmanmeat - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    MShero found out that zp and suter were not worthy of the soup can. Their girth is that of a half used #2 pencil, combined! All hail shero for his quick recognition and putting a halt to this deal. The Franchise and Soup Can will make the rest of the nhl quiver in their skates. THICK IS IT!

    • 7ransponder - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Typical response to a big deal. The teams that lost instantly think the players they had previously wished were signed to their team are now trash. You can flap your jaw all you want, but we all know how you really feel. Enjoy your jealousy!

  2. uscthom78 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    So parasite and sutter wannabee go wild on Minnesota.

  3. mclovinhockey - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    They didn’t take the largest deals
    Or the deals in a city that can win a title.
    But they just made the wild a contender… To make the playoffs…. Maybe…. I say next year they finish 10th in the west.

  4. cmv08 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Gotta love it! Pittsburgh THOUGHT they had them in the bag….guess not.

  5. howardforvezina - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Awesome for the Wild, wish that Suter joined the Wings, but you guys will be relevent this year. For fellow Wings fans do you think its time to sign semin or trade for Ryan or Nash?

    • wingsdjy - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      No to Semin. Maybe to Ryan. Yes to Nash.

  6. danphipps01 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    So. Here’s the question everyone should be considering: is there anyone other than diehard Wild homers who honestly thinks either of these guys (but especially Parise, given his fairly unspectacular point production since the knee injury) is going to be deserving of a $7.54m cap hit for the duration of their contracts? Seriously, just go forward seven or eight years. Do you see either of them still earning that money by 2020? I don’t.

    • minnywildfan - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      I am a wild fan but yes that does make me nervous. Craig Leopold, the wild owner, just said that there were teams offering more money for both players and they did take a pay cut. So my guess is your favorite team would have paid them more

    • mnhockeyfan - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Not quite a Wild homer, but I live here.

      I don’t mind the Suter contract as much. We’ve seen defensemen stay productive well into their late 30s, he’ll turn 40 the last year of this deal. He gets hard to trade at some point due to the cap hit, but I think if is production drops off that hard he’d retire anyway. 13 years for a forward seems like quite a reach.

      Have to pay to play, I guess. We won’t know how good/bad this is for seven or eight years. I’m lukewarm at this point.

      • danphipps01 - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Yeah. Suter I’m not really bothered by. He’s an excellent shutdown guy, and that skillset tends to age very well. He may not put up 45ish points forever, but he’ll still be solid on the PK pretty much the whole time. It’s really Parise that’s the problem – forwards generally see a fairly pronounced production dropoff over time, and Parise’s already looking… well, not quite as good as he was at 25, let’s put it that way. His contract is more or less guaranteed to become an albatross eventually. There’s just no way he’s going to be worth that cap hit every single year.

    • stakex - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Thats the trade off though for not having an even bigger cap hit right now. Parise could easily be making $8-10 million a year, and would have a much larger cap hit if the contract was short. Its a rick no doubt, but there is logic behind it.

      • danphipps01 - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        I know. UFAs are overpaid by default, especially when they’re actually top-flight guys. Still. Parise might not even be a top-six forward for the next thirteen years. He certainly won’t be putting up 30+ goals in all of them. Bottom line is, sooner or later, this contract’s gonna be an ugly mass of red ink on SOMEBODY’S roster. Fletcher’s probably in the clear, though. He’ll probably be long gone by the time the downsides of lifetime contracts start to really make themselves apparent.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        The way Fletcher has built this roster, I hope he lasts here longer than their contracts.

  7. highlander24 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Now they are still an average team with two more solid players. Have fun trying to dethrone the champs.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      I find all the hate funny.

      If they signed seperately, no one would be talking.

      Get a life people. Let this play out in due time (5 years or so). people need to realize their favorite team offered the exact same contract to these two FA’s.

      haters gotta hate

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        Not everybody who says the Wild will be less than the next Cup champs is a “hater,” they’re just not looking at this signing or this team through a homer’s eyes.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:29 PM

        I am far from seeing this thru MN glasses. We are not cup contenders when you stack up each teams roster but anything can happen in the playoffs. The idiot LA fan should know better than to run his mouth off. They won as an 8 seed and it’s their first cup, I am sure this is ‘her’ first post too, now that her team has won…

        If the Wild make the playoffs (which they should)… they have a chance at the cup, so that in theory makes they cup contenders.

        I would say the Wild would be a #4 seed in the West.

      • Doesnotmatter - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:42 AM

        The idiot Kings fan just stated his point of view. And he’s not the only one who thinks that way either. Signing Parise and Suter does not make the Wild a contender.

  8. jnealsmanmeat - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Is minny even a state? I dont think so.. Its probably some part of canada or something. I looked on a USA map of relevant states, culdnt find it… I did see, however, The Franchise and their map of destruction for the 2012-2013 season, Captain Soup Can leading the league in points and girth.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      There it is: Ignoranmus Comment of the Day!

  9. rallen69 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    most people dont know but the wild have the 2nd best prospect rank in the league. this will also free up heatly to score 40 goals a year now. and they still have backstrom and harding for goaltending.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      heatley will never score 40 again and the wild are still left with only 1/2 a center in koivu unless they plan on moving parise to center.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:52 PM

        He may not score 40 goals again, but he makes a very good 2nd line player

  10. youngs79 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Makes sense they would both want to play in ” The State of Hockey”. No state has put more players in the NHL, No state has more knowledgeable fans, and no place gives the fan’s a greater experience than the Ex. Awesome news for Wild fans everywhere.

  11. minnesotasportsinsider - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    If you don’t remember, the wild were the top team in the league last year for the first third of the season. Congrats Minnesota! Stanley Cup, here we come!!!

    • namriverrat69 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      It is not how you start but how you finish. The Wild will be one of many very good teams in the West. They haven’t done anything yet to make anyone believe they are championship caliber. The Kings not only believe they are championship caliber but the rest of the league does too. The Kings aren’t going away now. As a very young team they are only going to get better too. Not to rain on the Wild parade but putting things into perspective. The other teams in the West will also be better in their own ways- the Blues, Stars, Canucks, Sharks, Blackhawks, Wings and Predators. There will be no cakewalk like the Kings blazed through to the cup this year.

      Congrats to the Wild though.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      ….and the Leafs were on top of the East for a while.

  12. jnealsmanmeat - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    How funny is it that almost all minny fans are “nervous” and “lukewarm” about this! Already quivering The Can!

  13. parisepeesonmypenispouch - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    so did we decide if minnesota is a city, state, territory, or a black hole in the universe? CROSBY IS SO THICK N JUICY

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      could this be “vokounviolates…” or just a sidekick- either way EAT IT!!!! The thought of you and every other ignorant, foul-mouthed Pens fans, heads burning up and exploding like a large firework on this 4th of July!

      Happy 4th indeed!! 😉
      (this is not directed to those fans who have some class)

    • puckhead1966 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Sounds like you have a real blogon for Crosby!

    • smillr58 - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      Who is this tool… Do everyone a favor and get off you mommy’s computer…

  14. malkinrulez - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    People seem to forget the state of hockey lost the north stars . Would have loved to see what parise and did could have done but congrats to the wild ,clear both wanted to play close to home

  15. ozzyplet7 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Yeah buddy!! Best day of my life!!

  16. jnealsmanmeat - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    I think minny is the same as maine. I also just learned that minny has the most garbage landfills in all of canada.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      You got something against Canada? Home of Sid, Fleury, Letang, and *gasp* your namesake Neal.

  17. miketoasty - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Good now everyone will stop being the Pens on NHL.

  18. jb8383 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Zach sound like little girl, wants to go home and play with his friend. Loser. Hope you realize what you gave up you wimp.

  19. jnealsmanmeat - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Hold on… I just found out that minny is a juicy herpe in manatoba, sascatchawon. I think thats where they first spotted a sasquatch or something. All my research has left me hungry for a Can of chunky Soup

    • cindysoupforbrainscrosby - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM


    • puckhead1966 - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      What a surprise, another no nothing American (sorry to all those smart ones). If your going to insult my country at least get the spelling right. It’s Manitoba, spit for brains, and while were at it, Minnesota or any state would count themselves lucky to be part of Canada, you know, clean, 1 per cent of the gun crime, universal heath care (that means its free) and of course its the home of hockey. Real hockey. Oh yeah, we have an education system too, I probably know more about your home state than you do, I could at least spell it.

    • puckhead1966 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      Manitoba and Saskatchewan is how you spell them, and they are each their own provence, one isn’t inside the other. Good lord do you not know anything other than America? Have you even left the county you were born in? Names of places are proper nouns, proper nouns use a capitol letter in the front. See, you’ve learned more today than you have in the last, many, many years. You really should stop making a fool out of yourself, your not funny and you don’t have the smarts or wit to even insult someone properly.

  20. kirschmania - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Wow. What’s with all the negativity? The Wild go out and sign guys 1&2 and the hate is just oozing in this comments thread. Is it out if jealousy, wanting to be different or just being a hater? Only time will tell but how can anyone argue this as a bad thing? State of hockey. Long term deals spread out. Not your typical team (the detroits of the world) getting the guy. This is good for Minnesota and good for the NHL. There’s a new team in town Vegas odds went from 200-1 yesterday to 20-1 today. Giddyup. And to all you haters…do me a favor…please stay off the wagon when it blows up.

  21. goomer19 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Let me start by saying these are two very good players. But……why on earth would they go to the lowest scoring team in the NHL? Not only that, collectively as a team, the WIld were MINUS 49!! Either ONE of these guys would have been a difference maker on any CONTENDER. The Wild are far from that. Wild fans can say what you will but until you have a solid CONSISTANT team that year after year is in the playoffs or the cusp of, these two will not make a difference. Ask yourself this. Are these two good enough to get you the extra 15 points you needed to make this years playoffs? We shall see next April. Until then….enjoy. I never saw this coming.

  22. paledevil - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    The Wild been trying for a while to be a contender.. I humbly submit they will make the playoffs..

  23. 1wildfan1 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Love all the jealous hatin! Keep it coming…good laughs on the 4th

    • goomer19 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      I wouldn’t call it “jealous hatin”. Just people scratchin thier heads wondering WTF are these guys thinking. I am a huge fan of both ….but come on man. To 1WildFan1….Jealous maybe…hatin’…. not so much.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        If it’s not jealous hatin’ it’s pure ignorance.

  24. 1wildfan1 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Mn lost the stars because norm green was a greedy pig who thought he could hold the citizens hostage and force us to throw truckloads of cash at him. His bs was called, and he found a new home. Mn found REASONABLE owners and now have the greatest venue in hockey, the greatest fans, an owner that wants to win, and hockey is in our blood here.

    GO WILD!

    • puckhead1966 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      How much did the taxpayer pay for the new rink? In Toronto, the Leaf and Raptors paid for their own.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        not nearly as much as the vikings got.

        the xcel energy center was built for 130 million. The state gave the wild 65 million in a no interest loan and took off 17 million for letting the high school hockey (boys and girls) state tournament which sells out, and other high school championships and tournaments being held there.

  25. buffalomafia - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Salute’ to Minnesota!

    To bad Buffalo’s leadership couldn’t pull that move!

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      I just think they’re worried about it blowing up in their face like it did last year. They spent a lot of money last summer and busted- give ’em a season, maybe 2 and they’ll be back pulling some great moves (I hope, Sabres have always pulled me in. I don’t know why? Maybe because it’s so fun to say “Let’s Go Buffa-LOOooo”)

  26. triggerlock45 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    No offense to the Wild or their fans, but are those two really worth all that money, and for that amount of time? I mean history wise that, in Parise’s part, players with bum knees, no matter how talented (f.e. Pavel Bure), usually deteriorate faster than average players.

    As for the length, what if you end up pulling off a Canucks blame factor when its realized that one of the guy(s) are NOT perfect, and you want to run them out of the city with their unattractive contracts?

    I’m just saying. Congrats to the Wild organization for winning this bid war. I just hope that gamble for them ends in their favor.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      Here is the thing about Minnesota sports fan. For every sport…

      They all love local players, no matter the sport. Joe Mauer is the best example for baseball

      For hockey, everyone wanted Mike Modano for his last year in a Wild sweater. They all still adore Neal Broten. People went crazy when Mark Parrish signed here (still paying off his buy out).

      For football, everyone was nuts when Randy Moss came around the 2nd time, Matt Birk (St. Paul) was loved.

      For basketball, somehow I;m sure Kris Humphries is wanted by the fans.

  27. philly4lyfe - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    So glad the flyers didn’t overpay for either of them. Suter especially. Wouldn’t want to hear him whine about the mean Philly media/fans hurting his feelings.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Philly couldn’t afford both

  28. 1wildfan1 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Goomer…i understand the jealousy. I would have been had they signed elsewhere. The haters are the ones who are trashing mn for no reason, or the douches who were ZP or RS biggest fans yesterday, and talking about how overrated they are today

    • goomer19 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      1WildFan1….I am a fan of any player who gives 110%…which these two are. But….ask yourself this…..are they good enough to get you the 15 points you needed to get in the playoffs? Seriously. You have to admit that these two signing with the Wild came out of nowhere. I think that is what most people are shocked about. I could give you my true response to this but it would probably piss you off which is not what i want to do on the 4th of July. Just let me say this….I LOVE HOCKEY!! Isn’t that all that matters? Have a great day bud.

  29. 12is3times4 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Keep in mind this deal wasn’t made just for on-ice improvement. Attendance has dropped off in recent years, and the Wild needed to do something to re-energize the fan base and put butts back in those empty seats while the rest of the team develops. Landing two home-state stars at once should accomplish that goal, at the very least.

    Does this make Minnesota a Cup contender overnight? Probably not, but it sure is one helluva start.

  30. malcolmsbeard - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Hahahaha! I thought the Dinged Wheel was supposed to sign everyone!

  31. savior72 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Hahahahahahahah redwings fans, suck it!

    • goomer19 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Savior72….if these 2 guys and i repeat TWO guys help you post a positive team goals against average they deserve more than what they just got. Reality sucks. State of Hockey? Is it just me or am i missing something here. If Minny is the “State of Hockey”….then sub .500 hockey and missing the playoffs is the new standard. Enjoy your holiday….loser.

      • spiciercheez - Jul 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

        I can hear you crying from here. Go clean your face up now you big baby.

  32. abnranger - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Why isn’t this player collusion? They conspired to go to the same team months ago, negotiated best offers and shared data during the negotiation process, and forced management to pay identical offers to sign. Had the owners discussed amongst themselves and established a fair market value, we would be in court. The owners cannot share information. What happens next year when 3,4,5 etc do the same!

  33. neelyisgod - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    How do they become an instant contender? They have a great foundation set up to build on but I just don’t see them as a contender.

  34. redwingsfan999 - Jul 4, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Suter could be a big bust that’s a mistake signing him by that much, he is the type player who is better when he plays with good players, he would have been perfect with the wings, him and Kronwall would have been the next Fetisov Konstantinov still though u have 2 respect his decision. Like Ken holland said “you can’t beat family”. And that is the main reason why parise and sutter went 2 Minnesota. That and cuz the money

  35. savior72 - Jul 4, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    goomer19 I don’t live near Minnesota or root for the Wild. I just hate the Redwings. I don’t think these two guys automatically make the Wild a powerhouse by any means.

  36. xjokerz - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    As a wing fan I am disgusted go to hell suter.

  37. bbk1000 - Jul 5, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    You knew something was up when you read the comments attributed to Parise a week or so ago.

    I’m glad they went to Minnesota, I was afraid they were going to end up in a place that mattered.

  38. phillyphan83 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    Hahahahahaha where you at GenoPringles and all your other aliases??? You talked all that trash how you’re getting both praise AND suter, now you got NEITHER!!! What happened to the Soup Can Army and how EVERYONE wants to play for “the franchise”??? hahahaha

    • malcolmsbeard - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      word. hahahahaha. the franchise mad!

  39. supercoop8 - Jul 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Is this article true?? I have it on good authority from every red wings and penguins fan that no one wants to play for any other team. What a joke after the signing now the players appear to be a bust to you.

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