You want fireworks? The Minnesota Wild celebrated the 4th of July in true American fashion: endeavoring to increase their attractiveness by 100%. Maybe they want to win some games too. Their holiday shopping spree picked up Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in matching (how appropriate) 13-year, $98 million contracts. Well done, America.
Twitter was at Defcon One all day Tuesday and Wednesday. That thing is worse than a middle school cafeteria for a gossipy game of telephone – and I enjoyed every second of it. Camp Parise nearly caused a meltdown when they announced they would have an announcement, took ages to get it together, then said Zach was still thinking about it.
It was exactly like DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince singing about a girl who takes so long to get ready for a date that they miss the whole show.
But good for Zach, taking his time deciding which team to spend the rest of his life with. Parise and Suter’s former teams (NJ and NASH) were in the running to re-sign, as well as other major contenders like Pittsburgh and Detroit. Comparable offers were made, but both players chose Minnesota from a wide field. Suter is from Wisconsin and his wife is from Minnesota. Parise is a Minneapolis hometown hero – they should have a parade for his arrival. The Wild have a great fan base, with 98.4% home attendance this year [link], despite missing the playoffs in eight of 11 seasons. How excited are those fans now?
Suter brings the Wild 46 points, a top-notch blue line anchor and his guitar. You know this guy is fun on the bus! He knows all the words to your favorite song.
Parise notched 69 points and a Stanley Cup-final run last season. We hope he packed a whole closet-full of snuggly sweatshirts.
Minnesota ranked #20 in total salaries last season, with over $8 million in cap space. Currently they have just over $2 million left for next season. The off-season frenzy turns now to other top available players like Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan. A team looking to bump up their foxiness could do worse.
Of course Nash & Ryan are not UFAs. Teams will have to give up big time assets to get them. Especially Nash – at mid-season, the asking price was sky high. Now that Parise is off the market, Nash’s value is looking very strong against the dollar. His contract goes through 2018 at $7.5 million and climbing. Bobby Ryan is younger, cheaper and shorter-term at $5.5 million through 2015.
Plus, he really loves his cat.
Note to Rick Nash: Come to Pittsburgh! We didn’t get Zach, but you’re not our second choice. Well, maybe Crosby’s. Either way, he needs a winger like he needs bigger pockets and we’re sick of hearing about it. You can run people over before they get their hands on the Kid. Imagine the scenario: Sid + Rick vs. Geno + James for which line can score more goals?! I flail. What about the Crosby, Stills & Nash jokes to be ruined by whoever gets that other wing?
Either of these guys to the Pens results in screaming that you’ll hear from your houses or cars. What about the Caps? They need to replace Semin! They have money! Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. One of these guys to the Flyers and Pam & Deb will never let us hear the end of it! I just can’t help it if I want this on one of my teams: