Zach Parise (bottow row, 2nd from the left) and Ryan Suter (bottom row, 3rd from the left) in a picture of the 2003 prospect class.
The Minnesota Wild made the biggest splash in the 2012 NHL free agency frenzy by signing both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to massive long-term deals. The deals are reported to be 13 years in duration. Financial conditions have yet to be released, reports Nicholas Goss from Bleacher Report.
With all the rumours that surround both prolific free agents, the question remains: why the Minnesota Wild?
Yeah, that's right.
How did the Minnesota Wild surprise the hockey world? They went after home-grown talent. Zach Parise was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Ryan Suter reigns from Oregon, Wisconsin. If you could turn your attention to a United States map for just a second, you'll notice that Wisconsin borders the state of Minnesota. This is no mere coincidence, ladies and gentleman; this is an example of two players just wanting to go home.
By signing in Minnesota, both Parise and Suter will have the opportunity to play close to their friends and families. Both players will most likely represent the United States in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, so this will be a nice head start to create some on-ice chemistry between the two. This is a formidable move by the management in Minnesota, especially if the players did not initially desire to play for the Wild.
With Zach Parise and Ryan Suter being signed in Minnesota, there remains a less star-studded cast of free agents to still find a home.
Maybe the signings of Parise and Suter could start a trend around the NHL. We could see Shane Doan get signed by Edmonton or Calgary. Maybe Alexander Semin will decide to play in the KHL. This all remains to be seen, but overall, this was a great move by the Minnesota Wild.
Look for a first line of Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise to tear up the NHL in the upcoming season.