What better day for two American players to announce their move to the Wild than America's own Independence Day?
Two-way forward Zach Parise and tough-guy defenseman Ryan Suter both signed 13-year, $98 million dollar contracts with the Minnesota Wild.
After seven years in New Jersey, Parise, former one-year captain for the Devils, will now be playing alongside Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley to bring his hometown team to the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.
Also having spent seven years on his team, Ryan Suter, top defenseman in the 2012 NHL free agency, has defected from Nashville determined to bring Lord Stanley to Minnesota.
“@9Modano: Can I come back and play for Minnesota too..? #northstars.”
Parise had a terrific last season with the Devils (31 G, 38 A, 69 PTS) and brought New Jersey to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Kings, while defeating Atlantic division rivals the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers in the process.
As the newly instated captain and having just made it to the final, a lot of fans expected him to stay in Newark and finish the job.
Suter just put up his best numbers yet with Nashville in this past season (7 G, 39 A, 46 PTS).
In the past season, the Wild were a far cry from the playoffs, finishing 24th in the league and 12th in their conference. The Wild had the worst goals per game average in the league (2.0), and the third-worst power play (15.1 percent success.)
The Wild have made it to the playoffs three times in their 12 years of existence.
In their first run in 2003, they made it to the Western Conference finals where they were swept by the Anaheim Ducks (4-0).
The Wild had a much shorter run in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs, losing in the quarterfinals to Anaheim in 2007 (4-1) and to Colorado in 2008 (4-2).
It will be interesting to see in 2013 if the American duo has what it takes to turn Minnesota around. Having signed 12-year deals with the team, Parise and Suter have risked their careers for the faith they have in the “hockey state.”