ST. PAUL, Minn. NHL free agency begins in four days, which means Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher might be getting his fishing equipment ready.
Despite having several young prospects on the verge of making the Minnesota roster, Fletcher hasn't shied from saying the next step for the franchise is reeling in the "big fish," the superstar already at the NHL level.
The big fish, in the case of Sunday's start of NHL free agency, are New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise and Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter. Rumors of Parise returning to his Minnesota roots have been ongoing for more than a year. Suter, who is from Wisconsin, is the top defenseman on the market and is the puck-moving, two-way defender the Wild have desired.
There are other players available who could interest the Wild, but Fletcher isn't likely to cast out a wide net, at least initially. Minnesota has young players on the way and role players already in the system. Fletcher needs the big fish.