The two top unrestricted free agents ended all speculation yesterday, and as many had suggested, the good friends ended up in the same place. Perhaps unexpectedly, the destination for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter was the Minnesota Wild. The Wild opened the vault, signing the pair to twin 13 year, $98M contracts.
These moves drastically change the balance of power in the West, as the Wild now become a force to be reckoned with. Minnesota’s depth (or moreso lack thereof) did not allow them to maintain a playoff spot despite being in first place overall in November. Adding a 25 minute star defenseman and a forward who is a top 3 forward on any team in the league makes the Wild a bona fide contender for the West.
These contracts also could signify the last contracts of such significant length, as it is expected the owners are going to push for a cap to the length of time a player can sign for.