NHL Lockout: How Can the Owners Explain Minnesota Signing Parise, Suter?

December 18th, 2012 by Steve Silverman Leave a reply »
It was one of the most remarkable days of the summer.

Free agency had started July 1, and the main issue revolved around New Jersey Devils high-scoring forward Zach Parise and Nashville Predators stud defenseman Ryan Suter.

These were the two big prizes of free agency, and teams like the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins were said to be seriously interested in one or both of them.

So were the Minnesota Wild, but surely the team from the State of Hockey would not be serious players in this high-priced auction.

However, the Wild were not about to take this opportunity lightly. They made serious bids for both players and were successful in their effort.

Parise and Suter each signed 13-year, $98 million contracts to play with the Wild on the Fourth of July (source: CBSMinnesota). General manager Chuck Fletcher set the hook and reeled in the prize catches, but it was Minnesota owner Craig Leipold who supplied the bait.

The fireworks were exploding as the announcement was made.

It seemed like the Wild had joined the big boys in the NHL's Western Conference and that a playoff berth lo ...

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