The fallout from the Wild’s signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Stars have a plan at center, and an update on Brett MacLean.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild fans are wild about their team’s signings of winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter (the two players in this summer’s UFA market), with nearly 700 full season tickets sold for next season within hours of the announced signings. Suter’s agent, Neil Sheehy, called the signings “a game-changer” comparing it to Wayne Gretzky being dealt to Los Angeles, or the Penguins drafting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect to Mr. Sheehy, no, it isn’t. Yes, Parise and Suter were the best available players at their respective positions in this summer’s market, and Wild GM Chuck Fletcher deserves praise for landing the pair, but they aren’t comparable to Gretzky, Crosby and Malkin, nor are yesterday’s signings comparable to the trade which sent Gretzky to the Kings, or the Penguins drafting their two superstars.
EXAMINER.COM: Nashville Predators GM David Poile was stunned by Suter’s decision to sign with the Wild, rather than re-sign with the Predators, giving the impression Suter may have mislead Poile over his intentions.
NJ.COM: Dave D’Alessandro observes Parise’s decision to sign with the Wild was purely a business decision, and also suggested the Devils rumored financial troubles may have been a factor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parise said it was between the Wild and the Devils, and insisted the latter’s finances played no part in his decision. We’ll have to take him at his word, but if you’re his agents, you had to be concerned about the reports over the Devils’ rumored money troubles
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox questions the financial sense behind the deals, and wonders if the acquisitions will pay off on the ice.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: Eric Duhatschek wondered how much the Wild will improve with Parise and Suter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parise and Suter should improve the Wild, could make them playoff contenders, but it’ll be a few years, when their promising prospects develop into NHL stars (as projected), before we know if this team can become championship caliber.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason doesn’t begrudge Parise and Suter getting their big contracts, but doesn’t like how the deals were front-loaded. He points out it is another example of owners who’ll try to squeeze the players for a bigger share of revenue are also the ones handing out these big contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In April, 2011, Wild owner Craig Leipold claimed his team was losing money and the current system had to be fixed, as they “had to fix how much we’re spending”. I’d love to hear Leipold’s explanation for these two signings.
DETROIT NEWS: The Parise and Suter signings suggest the Red Wings aren’t the “chosen ones” in the league anymore.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was among those who expected the Wings to land either Parise or Suter, and was surprised when they came up empty-handed. Time will tell if these signings represent a “new reality”, however, because for the most part during the current CBA, top UFAs usually went to big market, free-spending teams. What worked in the Wild’s favor was, in addition to a willingness to spend, the fact Parise and Suter were “local boys” who also wanted to play together.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars could address their need for a first line center by moving winger Jamie Benn into that role.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Coyotes forward Brett MacLean is improving after suffering a cardiac emergency on Tuesday, and was expected out of intensive care Wednesday.