The Minnesota Wild are suddenly a very important hockey team. On July 3rd, the Wild were an 11-year-old franchise with nothing to talk about besides a singular team name and a few playoff appearances. Today though? Today the Minnesota Wild are the proud new owners of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter – two of the NHL’s top free agents.
The Wild locked up Parise and Suter with identical 13-year, $98 million contracts. In case you are interested, their contracts break down like this (via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun):
Year 1: $2 million base salary + $10 million signing bonus = $12 million
Year 2: $2 million base salary + $10 million signing bonus = $12 million
Year 3: $6 million base + $5 million signing bonus = $11 million
Years 4-8: $9 million base
Year 9: $8 million base
Year 10: $6 million base
Year 11: $2 million base
Years 12-13: $1 million base
No matter how much Parise and Suter are earning each year, they’re now perennial Stanley Cup contenders. People in Minnesota may now get excited. From the Pioneer Press:
The Wild suddenly become relevant, going from a team that was hoping to make the playoffs to a team that will be expected to go deep into the postseason.
Parise and Suter were signed to help the Wild win the Stanley Cup, not just contend for it.
The pressure is on, but so what?
That’s the way it should be, the way fans in every city daydream it could be.
The pressure always should be on a team to produce a championship, even though there already is an attempt to downplay the title talk.
Forget downplaying title talk. The Minnesota Wild are the new Miami Heat. I eagerly await Suter and Parise’s welcome party. Of course, being in Minnesota instead of Miami, there will be some differences. “Not three, not four, not five, not six inches of snow …”