Originally written on The Rhino and Compass  |  Last updated 11/20/14

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 16: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Montreal Canadiens at the Prudential Center on December 16, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Canadiens 2-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in one of the greatest free agency coups that the state of Minnesota has ever seen. A couple of stars in their sport had chosen, together, to come to Minnesota. There was an immediate enthusiasm, and discussion about how far the duo could take the team. I have bad news for you, though. Parise and Suter are not going to take the Wild to the Stanley Cup. Not by themselves, anyway. Last year should have taught us the importance of team health, and failing health, the importance of depth. After a very strong start, the team started losing stars, like Mikko Koivu, leaving Kyle Brodziak as #2 on the team in points, and Dany Heatley’s 53 points as the team lead. Only 7 players logged 70 or more games, with only 3 playing all 82 (Heatley, Brodziak and Darroll Powe). Yes, there was a dearth of talent, especially at the top lines, and Parise certainly addresses that, and Ryan Suter will help shore up the blue line. What made the potential of this team a little bit more exciting before the two signed in St. Paul was the emerging crop of young talent. Mikael Granlund might be a young superstar in the making, and players like Zenon Konopka and Torrey Mitchell are going to add depth. If anyone — scratch that — WHEN someone gets hurt, more able bodied skaters will be able to move up lines, and young guys from Houston are a little bit more experienced and a lot more talented than I think we are used to. Might we see Charlie Coyle this year? While players are healthy, though, we will be able to see increased production from players skating with better linemates. Dany Heatley has been a scorer in the past, averaging a point a game with Daniel Alfredsson. For some reason, he wasn’t able to match that success with Cal Clutterbuck. I suspect he will find a little bit more of a scoring touch playing with Koivu and Parise. Opening night and the two goals he scored were certainly a positive indication of that. There are still holes on defense beyond Suter, but youngsters like Jonas Brodin and Matthew Dumba may be able to step in and solidify the blue line. Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have questions, but Matt Hackett looks like a goalie for the future. I’ve said in the past that this season is going to be driven more by luck than on ice skill, so anything is possible through June. Next season, though, after the Wild have had a half season to gel, I fully expect Minnesota to have a playoff team to root for in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.