Zach Parise Discusses Reaction To His, Ryan Suter's Wild Contract Buyouts

Adam WellsJuly 14, 2021

Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise, left, and Ryan Suter warm up prior to an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were taken aback when the Minnesota Wild decided to buy out the final four years on each of their contracts. 

Michael Russo of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Wild general manager Bill Guerin informed both players by phone call their deals were being bought out. 

Speaking to Russo about the move, Parise explained he was "caught off guard" when Guerin told him about the decision. 

“I had a feeling something was gonna happen, but when it does happen, you’re still shocked," Parise added.

Things with Suter didn't go very smoothly, as Russo noted the four-time All-Star hung up on Guerin during their call. 

Guerin told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday the decision to part ways with Suter and Parise was made with the long-term interest of the franchise in mind. 

"It was a very difficult decision [made] over lots of time and lots of meetings" he said. "Lots of things went into this decision, but it's a big decision that I feel we needed to make in order to keep moving forward."

While Parise said he "had a feeling something" was going to happen with him, he did not see Suter's buyout coming "at all."

“I thought Ryan played really well this year. I did," said Parise. "I thought Ryan had a great season and played well for us like he always has. He’s a top-four D-man in this league. Very surprised.”

Suter and Parise signed matching 13-year, $98 million contracts to join the Wild in July 2012. Those deals paid immediate dividends, as the franchise made the playoffs in each of the next six seasons after missing the postseason from 2008-2012. 

Minnesota did start to slip in 2018-19, finishing last in the Central Division. Things did turn around slightly after that, with two playoff appearances in each of the past two seasons. The team was eliminated in the qualifying round in 2020 and in the first round in 2021. 

Suter had just 19 points in 56 games in 2020-21, his fewest in a single season since he was a rookie. Parise's seven goals and 18 points last season were his fewest in a season in which he played at least 40 games.