The Minnesota Wild finally got to unveil their new cast, and Zach Parise and Ryan Suter helped send the crowd home happy.
Acquiring these coveted stars has heightened expectations, and the Wild opened this lockout-shortened schedule with a performance to match the hype.
Dany Heatley had two power-play goals on assists from Parise, and the offense-enhanced Wild surged into their much-anticipated season with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
''For us to just go play, it really felt good,'' Parise said.
Parise put eight shots on goal and Suter blocked four shots from his spot on the blue line while playing more than 27 minutes, 6 1/2 months after they stunned the NHL free agent market by signing 13-year, $98 million contracts with this team that has missed the playoffs the past four years.
''I was smiling the day we signed those guys, and I'm still smiling,'' Heatley said. ''They've added a huge element to our team.''
Mikael Granlund also scored for the Wild ...