Ryan Suter to Wild: Superstar Defenseman Reportedly Signs with Minnesota

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 07:  Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators skates with the puck in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Predators 2-1 to win the series 4 games to 1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild have signed the best defenseman available on the NHL free agent market in Ryan Suter to a 13-year contract, according to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

With Suter off the market, we should see the action in free agency pick up a bit now that the teams who didn't get Suter will need to pursue their second and third options for blueline help.

While this is a huge move for the Wild, they were not done. To add to their banner day Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune reports they were able to sign hot free agent Zach Parise to a 13 year deal.

BREAKING: WE GOT 'EM! Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are coming to the #mnwild! More to come. After you exhale, RT to #WelcomeZachAndRyan

— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) July 4, 2012

Parise's deal is $98 million over 13 years for a cap hit at a little above $7.5 million; Suter's deal is 13 years. Working on AAV #mnwild

— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) July 4, 2012

Per Lebrun, $98 million for Suter, too. They were a tandem #mnwild

— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) July 4, 2012

With the Wild landing both free agent stars, watch out, Western Conference!

Suter is a durable player who can play a major role at both ends of the ice. His defensive awareness and toughness makes him a shutdown defenseman, and his offensive instincts allow him to be effective in the attacking zone.

With a hard slap shot and puck-moving ability, Suter will be a strong addition to the Wild power play. He also has good leadership skills and could be a candidate for a captain role down the road in Minnesota.

He has scored at least 35 points along with 30-plus assists for the past four seasons. His playoff production isn't too impressive (13 points in 39 career games), but he's only been past the first round twice.

Suter received offers from the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and likely some other teams, but in the end, he made the correct decision. The Wild are a perfect fit for Suter.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NHL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.