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A year later, Wild GM feels ‘fortunate’ to have Parise, Suter

Aug 11, 2013, 9:41 PM EDT

Zach Parise, Ryan Suter Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild made a big splash last summer when they signed defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts. After missing the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, that move renewed their commitment to win the Stanley Cup and singled out those two newcomers as the people they felt would lead them there.

Minnesota’s 2013 campaign ended with a shift first-round exit at the hands of the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks and given the increased expectations, it was seen as something of a disappointment. All the same, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher doesn’t have any regrets about the trust they’ve put in Suter and Parise.

“We were fortunate to sign both Zach and Ryan,” Fletcher told NHL.com. “Looking back now, in hindsight with a year removed, I can’t even say how lucky we are that we did sign them.

“You hear horror stories of all these big free-agent signings that don’t pan out, and we signed arguably the best defenseman in the League and one of the best goal scorers in the League. Both players lived up to expectations. They’re great people.”

To Fletcher’s point, while the team didn’t get far in the playoffs, Parise and Suter did largely perform as advertised. That’s especially true for Suter, who averaged a league-leading 27:16 minutes per game and was a Norris Trophy finalist.

At the same time, those long-term contract horror stories don’t always start with the first season of a deal. After all, Parise is 29 years old and Suter will celebrate his 29th birthday on Jan. 21. With them signed through 2024-25, it’s not hard to see them being liabilities in the final years of their contracts.

Still, right now the Wild have a team with a strong core and some young, up-and-coming talent. And if they can manage to win the Stanley Cup over the next few years, then their signing of Parise and Suter could be credited as the turning point that led them to new heights.

  1. 950003cups - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    He feels fortunate and we feel like CRAP!!

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      What are you talking about? 200 Million Dollars for a negative 14 come playoff time?

      How can you feel like crap?

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        Other than the fact that Suter was a Norris nominee after a slow start learning a new system with no training camp, oh and oh playing with a rookie who he helped turned into the calder snub.

        Parise who ranked 18th in the league in goals scored for a team that ranked 22nd. He can’t do it alone. What he also brings what you fail to mention is the leadership that clearly New Jersey lost. Is it a coincidence that New Jersey went from the Cup Finals to the 8th worst record?

        They were a -12 (Parise -7, Suter -5). Which goes to show how far away the Wild are from being a Cup contender. If you look back and read the comments from the handful of Wild fans that are on here usually, you will see none of them said they were going to win the Cup this year. The goal was to make the playoffs, they did.

        The playoff run comes not this season coming up, but the following season. They will have plenty of money to sign free agents (read Thomas Vanek). They have Heatley’s 7.5, Mike Rupp’s 1.5 million, Pominville 4.51 million (who by the way was their best player when he got here, until he got his bell rung), Stoner 1.05, Prosser 825k, Parrish’s 928k buy out all comes off the books. That is 16.31 million plus whatever the cap goes up and whatever they are under now, Pominville I’d imagine will be resigned close to the 4.5 million he’s making now. That is still close to 12 million. Dumba will be here at 1.6 million, which will take care of Prosser’s spot. Zucker isn’t listed at 833k, which would take care of Rupp’s 1.5 with room to spare. That’s not counting 2-3 other prospects they are high on which would low against the cap.

      • mp1131211 - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Notice that you said “come playoff time” this year instead of come “tee-time.”

    • kaptaanamerica - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Suter started out like shiite but got better and even I have to admit the guy should have won the Norris. I totally hate the guy for what he did to Nashville with his misleading statements to Poile which eventually screwed the team from getting any kind of return at the trade deadline.

      The eastern bias of the selectors who choose the winners is ridiculous though. There should be an even number of west based and east based selectors. I don’t think most of the eastern based writers, talking heads, etc… even stay up to watch the entire game. Watching only highlights which some of them have admitted to doing for west games is not going to give anyone a feel for what a given player brings on a particular night. I listen to the sports radio in toronto and the garbage coming from some of these guys about the western teams makes no sense.

      Minnesota is one of the teams these easterners have no clue about. I think the wild are up and coming. It’s gonna be hard holding them down much longer. Players like Coyle were a revelation this year. If they develop their prospects correctly and Suter/ Parise/ Pominville maintain a high level of play, then watch out. They will regularly challenge for the playoffs if not more.

      Canucks/ Wild games will be even better to watch…

  2. 950003cups - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    I feel like crap because the guy we chose to keep instead of Parise went AWOL. Kovy for Parise? Any day of the year. But not when that jack ass goes AWOL.

  3. blomfeld - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    FOR 197 MILLION, YOU BETTER FEEL ‘FORTUNATE’ !

    As a former employee of Northwest Airlines who’s had the privilege of visiting MSP on several occasions, I wish the Wild nothing but the best in going forward and may God speed their enterprise. Nonetheless, the fact remains that these two hideously ‘overpaid’ bourgeois fairies have yet to deliver on their end of the bargain. And until they do, we will ‘never’ let them off the hook ! Despite being an ardent & values-driven supporter of the LA Kings for 40 x years, I’ve always had a ‘soft’ spot in me for the former North Stars and now these Wild of Minnesota … and I don’t know why that is ? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that so many Swedes settled in that state during the 1800’s ? Regardless, the time is ‘now’ for Parise & Suter to start ‘seriously’ earning some of the King’s ransom which they’ve both been paid !

  4. vstar1us - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:19 AM

    Regardless, the time is ‘now’ for Parise & Suter to start ‘seriously’ earning some of the King’s ransom which they’ve both been paid !

    Blomfeld….

    This guy should be a sports caster, he is better than the crap we have now! I love your post

  5. rushledger - Aug 12, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    I know it was a shortened season but you got to be fairly optimistic about Ryan Suter averaging 27 minutes and finishing second in the Norris race.

  6. multiplemiggs - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    And they’re still a lousy team. Who cares.

  7. multiplemiggs - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    And kaptaanamerica has no clue what hes talking about. You should change your name to the Minnesota BUST.

  8. ashtongronholz8 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    And what team do u root for?

  9. multiplemiggs - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Whoever plays the crappy Wild.

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