The Minnesota Wild pulled off a package deal for free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise Wednesday.
Both Paise and Suter will earn $98 million over their 13-year contracts, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. Each cap hit will be just over $7.5 million.
The Wild have taken a huge step in the NHL Western Conference pecking order. Both 27-year old UFA's were rumored to be interested in going to the same team. It looks like that will be Parise's home state of Minnesota.
The Wild managed to improve substantially on both sides of the puck, gaining an All-Star at forward in Parise, and one on the blue line in Suter's case. Parise adds instant leadership and playoff experience, having just finished captaining a run to the Stanley Cup Finals with New Jersey.
Teams like Detroit and Pittsburgh were said to be in play for one or both players. The Chicago Blackhawks were also thought to have been in the mix. Those teams will quickly shift their focus to the few remaining UFA's, including F Alexander Semin and D Matt Carle.
It would also make sense if the trade market opens up a little bit following the double announcement. The Wild have stepped up to the table and seem to have moved up the ladder in the NHL.