With everybody on edge, and record contracts almost certainly to be signed, the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter Sweepstakes will come to an end on Monday, July 2nd. Word has it that over 20 teams submitted offers to the pair; a frenzy for talent that hasn’t been seen in a long time. *Update* Parise has list down to 3 teams, thought to be Pitt, Wild, Philly. Working on details but sounds like NJ is out(can’t pay nearly as much). Suter is also down to 3 teams. Wild are also said to still be in his top 3. Detroit, Minnesota, Philly are thought to be the teams.
Sources and reporters, more specifically the StarTribune’s Michael Russo(@RussoStrib), have confirmed to the masses that the Minnesota Wild DO remain on the “shortlists” for both Parise and Suter. With reports that over $200+ million on the table from more than one team for both players, here are our educated guesses as to what will happen tomorrow:
1. The Homecoming.
Parise decides that he will don his home state’s Iron Range Red sweater for the next 10+ years. With Suter’s agent stating that he will not make a decision until Monday, it seems very logical that Suter is simply waiting on Parise to make a decision. If Parise signs in Minnesota, Suter will most likely follow suit; tagging along to solidify the D and take what is rumored to be the richest of any contract received. With Parise undoubtedly being on the first line with Koivu and Heatley, Setoguchi PMB and Mikael Granlund are penciled in on the second; two incredibly scary and potent lines that would create numerous problems and goals against opposing D. Suter would then pencil in with close friend Tom Gilbert and everybody on the D would then move down a pair..creating an interesting competition for Jonas Brodin/Scandella/Spurgeon/Falk/Stoner.
2. The LeBron
Instead of taking what is rumored to be the richest deal from the Minnesota Wild, Parise opts for around $8 million a year to play on a line with Crosby and Malkin. You can’t really blame Zach if he chooses this route; who wouldn’t want the opportunity to team up with two league superstars on a Stanley Cup Caliber team; something Parise really emphasized through his agents. This would undoubtedly create a situation then, for Suter, where it would be impossible to sign with Parise for the money that he is asking. Detroit then becomes the hands-down favorite for Suter; where he would fill Lidstrom’s gaping hole at D and become an instant fan favorite.
3. Brother-ish Love
Philly has to be considered a serious contender, no matter who you are or where you live. Reportedly offering around $200 for the two, the Flyers have set themselves up for a serious run. Philly definitely mentioned in their pitch with the departures of JVR and Chris Pronger’s concussion problems, that Parise and Suter would be instant upgrades at each position and point out how lethal of a squad they could make the Orange and Black. However, Philly just doesn’t seem like a good fit for either of them, but remember, anything is posisble. Prediction: if Parise goes Philly, Suter goes Detroit.
4. The Return
Both Parise and Suter return to NJ and Nashville, respectively. Not going to happen. Keeping NJ on his list was purely political; but choosing to go to FA has definitely priced ZP way out of the Devil’s price range. With demands of around $24 million as a signing bonus on top of the lengthy contract, there doesn’t seem to be a plausible way the Devils can offer anything remotely close to what the other teams are already offering. Parise understands that image is a huge deal around pro sports(see the Lebron debacle) and how much it can affect performance, public image, etc… NJ will be a “contender” until the final 5 or 4…but I just don’t see NJ being a contender after failing to resign Parise. If anything, the decision to reach free-agency was Zach and his agents way of politely saying to NJ that we loved you, but we don’t want to marry you. Suter has the better chance of returning to his own team, but that again becomes highly unlikely. With the Predator’s GM making a huge push to both men, and Parise crossing Nashville off of his list quite early, Suter then is left in the exact same spot as he was before. Suter wants to be the #1 D-Man, and while under the shadow of Shea Weber and a newly resigned Hal Gill, Suter is all but gone from Nashville no matter what is promised him there.