Wild sign free agents Parise, Suter

July 4, 2012 at 2:16 PM   |   0 comments

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 4 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Wild said Wednesday they have signed high-scoring forward Zach Parise and top-tier defenseman Ryan Suter each to 13-year contracts.

The free-agent signings are the biggest by far in the 12-year history of the Wild, who have missed the playoffs for four consecutive seasons.

"This is a great day in the history of the Minnesota Wild," General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We are extremely excited to add the collective skill, experience and character of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to an already promising roster."

Parise, 27, a Minneapolis native, spent seven years with New Jersey, ranking fourth in Devils history with 194 goals and ninth with 410 overall points.

He is the son of former Minnesota North Stars player and assistant coach J.P Parise.

Suter, also 27, has played his entire seven-year career with the Nashville Predators, for whom he ranks fourth in all-time assists with 200.

The Wild GM said the moves provide the franchise with "a rare opportunity" to turn its fortunes around for owner Craig Leipold, the one-time owner of the Predators, who purchased the Minnesota team in 2008.

Terms weren't disclosed, but Canadian broadcaster TSN reported Parise's deal is worth $98 million, with an average annual value of $7.5 million.

Parise, the Devils' captain last season, racked up 31 goals and 69 points in 82 regular-season games, adding eight scores and 15 points in 24 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup Finals against Los Angeles.

Suter, a former first-round Nashville pick from Wisconsin, netted seven goals and 46 points over 79 games with the Predators last season.

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