Wild Catch ‘Em All

I fully didn’t expect any major signings in the NHL (Parise and Suter), so I had no problem sleeping in, and had no problem meandering my way to Twitter.

So imagine my surprise when I logged on to Twitter to find the Wild had signed Suter, and Pittsburgh and Detroit were out of the running.

I wanted to get this out even Suter sooner, but I’ve had to calm down my own giddiness. I’m seriously giggling for no reason and jumping around like I was asked by the quarterback to the prom (but a nice, cute, humble one, not a GHB-weilding douchebag). I have a very heavy Wild coat that I’m considering wearing, even though it’s 72 degrees outside. This is a very, very big deal.

Oh, yes, the Wild are here. And they’ll be relevant for a while.

I think the biggest cause for celebration was most eloquently stated by Chris Long of KSTP: “It took a while, and an incredible amount of work by Chuck Fletcher, but (the Minnesota Wild)  are finally out of the hole Doug Risebrough dug them into.”

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Signings and Short Lists

The Wild have made no secret for months that they are trying to make a splash in free agency, attempting to woo Zach Parise and/or Ryan Suter. Seeing as each would appear to be a coup on their own, naturally Wild fans have been waiting with anticipation for July 1st to happen for months now.

So, when the Wild announced they signed two free agents, Zenon Konopka and Torry Mitchell, it was a bit of a surprise. Not that it’s out of the realm of possibility that a team might sign a role player or two on the first day of free agency, and not only because fans were looking for the big ticket item, but because it wasn’t so obvious how much uncertainty there was in the bottom 6 for next year. I guess the holes that could only be filled by Parise were what I was focusing on.

So, what do these guys bring to the rink?

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My First (and Last) Parise Post

I’ve been seeing it float around for a while. It’s actually starting to get tiresome.

Zach Parise is our LeBron, and we (the Wild faithful) are the Knicks fans.

The buzz for the Wild is that in the offseason, they’ll be making a play for native Minnesotan, current New Jersey Devil, and upcoming Free Agent Zach Parise. And really, why wouldn’t that buzz be there? Minnesota hockey is a proud tradition in Minnesota- in fact, along with Mitch Hedberg, Hockey is arguably Minnesota’s finest export, and it would be nice for the Minnesota Wild to have their own version of Neal Broten. Not to mention that it’s nice to be able to root for your favorite team’s best players and your country in the Olympics at the same time.

But, even the most dedicated aficionado of Minnesota-raised talent would agree that the most intriguing reason to sign Parise is this: When healthy, he’s one of the ten best players in the NHL. In 08-09, Parise scored 45 goals and finished 5th in the league in points (94), and in 09-10, he scored 82 points, good for 15th in the NHL. Combine this with his well-regarded two-way play (unlike his teammate Ilya LOLvalchuk), and there’s really not much discussion, he’s one of the best.

The negative with Parise isn’t much, but injuries derailed his 10-11 year, and he’s off to a slow start on a mediocre Devils team.

Anyway, like I said before, this is a fairly regular topic for Wild fans. I and a few other Wild fans are sick of hearing the message and comment boards overfill with “OH MAN, WE JUST NEED PARISE AND WE’RE SET!!!!1” posts. I get it. However, the Devils played at the X last night, Parise had a good game, and the local media is buzzing with the possibility of Parise in Iron Range Red. So, this is going to be my only Parise post until 1) The Wild become involved with trade talks for him (which would be asinine, IMO), or 2) He becomes a Free Agent.

Should the Wild make a run at Zach Parise?

This is a move that seems simple on the surface. Yeah. Duh. But let’s look deeper into how a Parise signing affects the Wild, (potentially) now in 12-13 and in the future. Continue reading