ST. PAUL, Minn. When the Minnesota Wild won the NHL's offseason by signing the two top prized free agents in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, they had designs on winning in the postseason as well.
Minnesota likely ends the season feeling unfulfilled following Thursday night's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks and 4-1 loss in the first-round series.
In giving Parise and Suter matching 13-year, 98 million contracts, the Wild had their sights set on division titles, playoff appearance and Stanley Cup chases. In the first season with Parise and Suter, Minnesota ended its four-year drought of playoff appearances, but fell short of its own expectations.
The Wild had their chances. The lockout-shortened season started slowly before Minnesota adjusted. But an inconsistent finish left the Wild as the eighth-seed in the Western Conference, needing to win on the season's final day to make the playoffs, which brought a series against the league's top regular-season team in Chica...