Originally written on The Mark Graham Sports Blog  |  Last updated 7/4/12

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 31: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Los Angeles Kings at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Kings defeated the Devils 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Wild has had a very productive Fourth of July to say the least. The Wild has agreed to terms with two of the top free agents in this year's NHL free agent pool. Former New Jersey Devils winger Zach Parise and former Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter both agreed to sign 13 year, $98 million contracts. Parise, a Minnesota native, spurned the Devils among many others to go back home and play for the Wild. Suter, whose wife Becky is a Minnesota native, turned down a 13 year,$90 million offer from the Detroit Red Wings to join Parise in Minnesota. The Chicago Blackhawks made runs at both players along with the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings were most interested in Ryan Suter to replace the recently retired Nicklas Lidstrom. The Nashville Predators offered a 13 year, $90 million deal to keep Ryan Suter in the Music City, but, according to Predators general manager David Polie, the Preds never got a chance to match the Wild's offer. The Red Wings made a presentation to Ryan Suter, but didn't have a chance to make a similar presentation towards Zach Parise. With Suter and Parise now gone, the focus now shifts on Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle and former Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin as the second tier NHL free agents.
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