CineSport—Forward Zach Parise & defenseman Ryan Suter both agreed to 13-year, $98 million deals with the Minnesota Wild. Parise & Suter helped lead Team USA to a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
It was supposed to be a fairy tale for the New Jersey Devils, but it quickly turned into a nightmare.
Captain Zach Parise was going to be a free agent this offseason, that was inevitable, but the Devils fought hard throughout the playoffs, proving to Parise that they were worth his time, that New Jersey was his rightful home.
After all, he led the team to an Eastern Conference championship and they were poised to make another run next season.
But then it happened. News broke that Parise was heading to his actual home in Minnesota, to play for his hometown Minnesota Wild. Devils fans hearts were shattered. Cleveland fans are familiar with the pain. Yes, it was that bad.
Parise wasn’t only the team’s best player, he was their leader, their captain and poised to become the face of the franchise for years. But now they must move on without him, hoping that Ilya Kovalchuck can lead the team back to a Stanley Cup final.
In Parise the Wild get a hard-nosed, intense leader who any team with $98 million would want on their team.
Look for Parise to have a Hart Trophy-type of season, playing in front of friends and family and in the same state as one of his father’s former teams, the North Stars.
Signing with the Wild at the same time as Parise was standout defensemen Ryan Suter, formerly of the Nashville Predators. The two signed identical 13-year deals and both look to be a major part of a strong Wild team for years to come alongside Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu.
Two of the NHL’s brightest young American stars are off to St. Paul and the Devils and Predators are set back because of it.
The Devils are hoping that the same thing won’t happen with Calder Trophy candidate Adam Henrique when his contract runs out in a few years. And the Predators face the possibility of losing another defensive star when Shea Weber becomes a free agent next offseason.
Parise and Suter landing in Minnesota started a domino effect on the landscape of the NHL. We could be looking at a dynasty in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for years to come.