ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — The Minnesota Wild have come to an agreement of terms with free-agent player Ryan Suter.
WCCO sports reporter Mike Max confirmed details of the 13-year deal Wednesday morning.
Suter, the defenseman from Nashville, is considered the top blue-liner on the market.
The Minnesota Wild earlier this week submitted offers to both Suter and Minnesota native Zach Parise. Mike Max has also confirmed that the Wild signed Parise on Wednesday. Both deals are reportedly worth $98 million over 13 years.
Parise, who was a captain for the New Jersey Devils last season, entered free agency on Sunday. Ever since, he’s been fielding contract offers from several teams around the NHL. Parise was reportedly building a house in the Minneapolis suburbs.
The Wild were working with more than $19 million in cap room, giving them more money than most teams to try to convince Parise and Suter to come to Minnesota.
Suter and Parise were widely considered the top free agents on the market.
Minnesota hockey legend Lou Nanne, who has been very outspoken about both this week, told WCCO Radio it’s a testament to the Wild ownership group.
“It’s really a spectacular accomplishment for (Wild GM) Chuck Fletcher and (Wild owner) Craig Leipold to be able to pull that off, because you had over 20 teams after these guys around the National Hockey League,” Nanne said.
Lou Nanne Reacts To Parise, Suter Signings
Nanne said Suter is one of the best defeseman in the NHL, and Parise is a top-10 forward.
“(Parise) is one of the 10 best forwards in the league. He’s got charisma. He’s got the best work ethic in the league, no one works harder,” he said.
Many sports fans say that the acquisition of the two players makes the team a Stanley Cup contender this upcoming season. Nanne agreed, saying the Wild are at least 15 points better than last year with the two acquisitions.
“They are just a very, very good hockey team right now,” Nanne said.
Parise spent seven seasons with the Devils, helping them reach the Stanley Cup finals this season. The 27-year-old Minnesota native has 194 goals and 216 assists in 503 career games. He scored 30-plus goals five times.
Suter, also 27, has spent his first seven years in the NHL with the Predators. The All-Star defenseman had career highs in points last year, with 7 goals and 39 assists.
The signings are arguably the biggest in Minnesota sports history. Joe Mauer re-signed with the Twins for $184 million two years ago. The Parise and Suter deals are worth a combined $196 million.
Parise and Suter will be introduced to the media at a news conference conference at noon on Monday.
“This is a great day in the history of the Minnesota Wild,” said Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher. “Zach and Ryan deserve a lot of credit. They made the decision to come to Minnesota.”
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