ST. PAUL, Minn. It was an odd sight, seeing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in green Minnesota Wild practice sweaters Monday. Something about it didn't look right, as if the NHL lockout dashed any hope that those two would play for their new team this season.
One day after the NHL and the players' associated reached an agreement to end the 113-day lockout, members of the Wild took the ice at Xcel Energy Center for a team skate, sans coach Mike Yeo. New additions Parise and Suter were among the 18 players in attendance, quickly developing chemistry with their new teammates. The duo signed matching 13-year, 98 million contracts in July, creating quite a buzz not only in Minnesota but also around the hockey world.
Then, the lockout hit, and all of that buzz dissipated.
"It's been tough for everybody -- players, management, fans. It's been a hard, long process," Parise said Monday. "We're all happy that it's over. Now we can just get this thing goin...