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

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

Cullen Jenkins unhappy over his roughing the passer fine

Bochy: Peavy trade was best in-season move of 2014

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each NFL Week 17 game

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.

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

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.