Ryan Suter, Zach Parise Closing On Decision; Both Could End Up With Minnesota Wild
Since free agency officially began on July 1, the hockey world has been held hostage by free agent superstars Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
As the two men sort out offers that will change their lives forever, everyone else waits anxiously for a decision to reign down and shape the rest of the market.
On Tuesday night in an exclusive interview with Josh Rimer, Zach Parise spoke candidly about the process and left many with the impression that a decision was coming over the horizon—one which potentially had he and Suter both playing for the Minnesota Wild.
Parise admitted that he and Suter have been talking throughout the entire process and have remained in contact in addition to expressing an interest with playing on the same team.
Via the Rimer interview:
Of course. No. 1; I don’t like when any one draws this comparison to LeBron, we have a lot of those texts from friends right now saying [that]. Ryan is a great player. He’s a top defenseman in this league. Those types of players don’t come around often. They’re tough to find. I would love to play on a team with a defenseman like Ryan Suter[…] To get an opportunity to play with him would be great.
As the above quote will show, the two are corresponding with mutual friends who are teasing them about being similar to the Miami Heat of the NBA if they chose to play for the same team, displaying the extent of the relationship they have.
Later in the interview, Parise discussed the prospects of playing in Minnesota and drew upon the deep ties the Minneapolis native has with being able to return home.
I think you have a lot of history there with my dad playing there, granted different organizations but same town, same team basically. The thought of that is really cool. That’s something throughout this process you need to consider.
In terms of Suter, reports have surfaced that the Detroit Red Wings and the Wild both sent contingents to his farmhouse in Madison, Wisconsin to make a face-to-face pitch.
Via the Star Tribune:
Tuesday morning, Wild owner Craig Leipold, General Manager Chuck Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo boarded a private plane in St. Paul and flew to International Falls, Minn., where they picked up Suter's agent, Neil Sheehy. Also along for the trip was Suter's financial adviser, Tom Sagissor.
The five men flew to Madison, where Suter went to college at Wisconsin and which is 20 miles from his home.
First, the Red Wings were in town to meet with Suter. Then, after Detroit's brass left, in came the Wild's contingent.
After the meeting, Leipold, Fletcher, Yeo, Sheehy and Sagissor returned to St. Paul before Sheehy continued on to International Falls.
The events of Tuesday have left many speculating that the finalists for Parise’s services are the Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils, while the finalists for Suter are the Wild, Red Wings and Nashville Predators.
That means if Parise and Suter do wish to play together, it appears it will be in Minnesota.
According to several reports, the decision could come down on Wednesday.
For the Philadelphia Flyers, a team who also made a push to acquire both players, it seems as though they are out of the running.
A report surfaced on Tuesday that the team has upped their offer for Anaheim Ducks winger, Bobby Ryan, which they probably would not have done had they believed they were going to sign Parise.
In the long run, being eliminated from contention for Parise and Suter could potentially benefit the Flyers as they will be spared salary cap space for future moves (Shea Weber would look good in orange and black, that is, if he manages to get to unrestricted free agency next year).
Of course, there is always the possibility of a trade.
Not to mention that the team still has the option of retaining the services of Matt Carle.
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