When NHL free agency kicked off on Sunday at noon, the hottest names on the market were Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Almost 72 hours later, the two coveted free agents remain unsigned and to be honest, the waiting game is getting ridiculous.
No one expected these two to sign new contracts at 12:01 on Sunday, but by the same token no one thought that things would drag on for this long either. As a point of reference, last year’s most coveted free agent, Brad Richards, made up his mind in less than 24 hours, inking a nine-year deal worth $60 million with the NY Rangers on the second day of free agency.
The money and term of the deals that Parise and Suter will sign is expected to be greater than what Richards signed for. Nick Kypreos tweeted early in the free agency period that he expected both players to sign for at least 12 years and get between $80 and $90 million in salary alone. That does not take into account the signing bonus that each would receive, a bonus that Kypreos said would be $24 million for Parise.
I understand that a player would want to consider a number of things before signing what will be most likely be the final contract of their NHL career. However, to drag things out this long, while I hate to use the word selfish, it does seem inconsiderate to the teams involved as well as to their brothers in the NHLPA, players who sit and wait for Suter and Parise to sign.
There’s no way that these two didn’t sit down with their agents by now and ponder what the best fit for them is, and I hope the waiting game is not a ploy to get more years or dollars out of their suitors. Suter and Parise should have signed by now, allowing the teams that don’t land one or both of the big dogs to get working on filling out their rosters with one of the second-tier players who continue to sit on the sidelines, waiting for Suter and Parise to sign.
Enough is enough. Suter and Parise need to sign their deals and allow everyone to get on with their business.