Ladies and Gentleman…We Got ‘Em

Incredible! The Minnesota Wild shocked the world by signing the two biggest free agents in the NHL. 

from Volume 2, Issue 3 of Ramblin’ On

While most of America celebrated the 4th of July with a relaxed work schedule, barbecues, and lazy days on the beach, a handful of people across the country kept close, practically stalker-like watch on who would sign NHL free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. To the surprise of pretty much everyone the duo, two of the best in the league at what they do, signed with YOUR Minnesota Wild.

Even with the arrival of two legitimate stars the Wild organization still find the need to go with that “State of Hockey” tripe. Come on guys. Enough is enough.

While this has gotten an amazing amount of coverage in Minnesota it is just: this is indeed a big deal for several reasons. For the first time in their existence the Wild are now an elite NHL team (for some perspective, their Stanley Cup odds went from 200/1 in Vegas to 20/1 with the signings). The Wild now really have it all: two legitimate stars in Parise and Suter to lead the way, top-tier players Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, and Devin Setoguchi right behind them, solid, above average 2nd and 3rd line guys in Matt Cullen, Kyle Brodziak, Cal Clutterbuck, and Pierre Marc-Bouchard, usually good and often great goaltending, a young, solid defensive core, and a handful of prospects that should to become stars.

The specifics of the deal are also important. Both Parise and Suter took a lot less money than they could have gotten had they signed elsewhere (a mere 7.5 million dollars a year). Because of this the Wild not only still have salary cap room to use this year but they will also have a lot of money to throw around for the duration of their contracts. The combination of money to spend on free agents in the future and the star power of Parise and Suter makes the future of the Wild look very good even if, for some strange reason, the current roster can’t get anything going.

Most importantly, though, for the first time in their existence the Minnesota Wild are now a legitimate force in the NHL – and an immediate Stanley Cup contender. Considering how little Minnesota sports fans have had to cheer for in the past, I don’t know, 20+ years, I don’t blame them for getting a little excited.

Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His writings on culture, music (including his own projects), sports, religion, and many other topics are cataloged regularly at Ramblin’ On. You can reach him via email here.



One response to this post.

  1. […] Sports The Minnesota Wild sign free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Is it as big of a deal as it’s being made out to be? […]


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