In the end, Zach Parise wanted to return home.
The Wild scored a major coup today when they agreed to terms with the top two players on the free agent market, forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Sutter. Both players signed 13-year contracts for a total of $98 million. They will have salary cap hits of approximately $7.5 million.
Parise, the former captain of the Devils, appeared in 82 games last season and scored 69 points (31 goals, 38 assists). Parise, 27, helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup final by recording 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 24 postseason games.
Suter, 27, appeared in 79 games last season and scored 46 points (seven goals, 39 assists).
EN Says: Wow. What a day for the Wild. After being a very mediocre club for the bulk of its existence, the Wild found a major way to become relevant.
This makes them a much better club in every way shape and form possible.
The Penguins were clearly hot after Parise. They offered him similar money and a chance to play next to Crosby. In the end, a chance to play in his home state was too much to ignore.
What do the Penguins do now having lost out on these players and seen Steve Sullivan jet to Phoenix?
The remains on the free agent market are lean. Alexander Semin is the best winger on the market. He has a world of talent but there are plenty of questions about his effort and heart.
There are other short-term veteran options such as Jamie Langenbrunner or Brian Rolston. But those players have seen their games degrade badly the past few seasons.
If we've learned nothing else from Ray Shero, it's that he knows how to pull off trades. Especially when it comes to defensemen being exchange for wingers. How did the penguins bring in the likes of Gary Roberts, Marian Hossa, Pascal Dupuis, Bill Guerin, James Neal and Chris Kunitz? He acquired those players in trades. And most of them were dealt in part for defensemen.
Just because the free agent market is drying up, that doesn't mean Ray Shero's offseason is anywhere near completed.
(Photo: Cris Bournocle/AFP/Getty Images)