Found January 20, 2013 on
The Rhino and Compass:
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.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild went shopping on the Fourth of July last summer and shocked the NHL by signing the top two free agents, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, to matching 13-year, 98 million contracts.
The excitement generated by the signings, which engulfed a state yearning for a winner after four straight years without a playoff appearance, was eventually tempered by the...
Led by star newcomers Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Minnesota Wild are looking to complete a perfect season-opening homestand and continue their best start in four years.
To do so, they'll have to knock off Suter's former team, the Nashville Predators, who begin their road schedule Tuesday night trying to shake off back-to-back shootout losses.
Minnesota (2-0-0) is enjoying...
Before the NHL lockout began, the story of the summer around the league was Minnesota's surprise signing of top free agents Zach Parise (puh-REE'-see) and Ryan Suter (SOO'-ter).
The Wild haven't made the playoffs in four years. But now that the season has been saved, they're eager to see what their new stars can do for a team that started strong in 2011-12 but...
Not only is it the first road game of the season for the Nashville Predators, but it’s also the first chance to boo Ryan Suter!
The Preds take on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, January 22, and we want YOU to join us at Brewhouse South in Franklin! Wear all your best Preds and anti-Suter gear and we’ll have prizes to give away!
Puck drops at 7:00pm so be sure to be there...
FRIDAY'S STORY LINES: Excitement. Anticipation. Those were words used frequently in the Wild locker room Friday afternoon. After a 119-day lockout, Wild players are eager to get on the ice for their highly anticipated season opener Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche.The offseason acquisitions of top free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise have made the opener an even bigger...
from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,
Sure, hockey-crazed Minnesota has yearned for a successful team in the NHL, but a winning Wild would also be just as good for the league as it tries to recover from the long lockout that bruised its image. While Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles have won the last three Stanley Cup titles, Minnesota is hockey's answer to Green Bay...
No Zach Parise, no problem. The New Jersey Devils opened up a new era without their former captain in fine fashion as they topped the New York Islanders 2-1.
Here are some notes on the Devils 2-1 win as well as some prospect updates.
- Given the circumstances, things went about as well as they could have for the Devils. That was a big win for them to open the season as not...
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Zach Parise's first goal in a Wild uniform made the difference, as the Wild improved to 2-0 for the season, shutting out the Dallas Stars 1-0 on Sunday. Dallas got 31 saves from rookie goalie Cristopher Nilstorp in his NHL debut, but could not muster any offense in the Stars' first road game of the season. Parise, the NHL's most talked-about free...
Dallas Stars (1-0-0, 2pts) @ Minnesota Wild (1-0-0, 2 pts)
7:00 PM CT
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(Delving) Into the Wild:
Minnesota made the biggest splash in free agency last summer (and was probably a huge reason why the lockout had to happen) with their gigantic signings of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
Parise paid off immediately last night as...
How will the man advantage fare this season without Ryan Suter?
For the first time since last summer, Shea Weber and the Predators face off against Ryan Suter and the Wild...
ST. PAUL, Minn. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter weren't the only players making their Minnesota Wild debuts Saturday night.
Mikael Granlund, the Finnish sensation who is one of the top prospects in hockey, played his first-ever NHL game and scored his first goal. Granlund, Minnesota's first-round pick in the 2009 draft, is in his first pro season in North America and he had...
Ryan Suter's now in Minnesota and Jordin Tootoo is in Detroit. The Nashville Predators still have captain Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, and their goals remain unchanged.
Stanley Cup or bust.
''We've shown ourselves that we can play against anybody,'' Rinne said. ''And for sure it's going to be a tight schedule, quick season and you have...
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild's fan base waited six months, through a long summer, and a long lockout, to see their newest players in action. On Saturday, they needed to wait another 20 minutes or so to see them truly perform. After a slow-starting first period, Dany Heatley scored a pair of power play goals -- both of them set up by Zach Parise -- as Minnesota'...