Suter gone Wild.

Former Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter has agreed to a 13-year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild, who also signed Zach Parise to a similar deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is headline news for NHL fans, especially those in Minnesota, for the fans of Parise and Suter’s former teams, and for those teams (Red Wings, Penguins, Blackhawks and Flyers) who were also in the bidding for them. The thought of playing together close to home obviously held significant appear for the two.

For the Wild, it signals to their fans management is serious about improving the team, so much so they were capable of outbidding teams in richer markets to land the two best players available this summer.  

It remains to be seen how strong an impact they’ll have upon the Wild. Initial reaction is, “of course, they’ll be a better team, a playoff contender for sure!” As history has demonstrated, however, that doesn’t always work out as hoped. That’s not a knock against the Wild, or Parise and Suter, but merely a reminder that sometimes these great signings work out, and sometimes they don’t.  

It’s also a crushing blow for the Predators, who had hoped to re-sign Suter, and must now not only turn their focus on a possible replacement, but could find Suter’s departure might have a serious effect upon their efforts to re-sign Shea Weber.

As for the teams which lost out in the bidding for the duo, expect the focus to shift toward Columbus’ Rick Nash and Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan on the trade market, and toward Philadelphia’s Matt Carle in the UFA market.