Fantasy Impact: The Minnesota Wild have signed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year contracts, worth reportedly close to $100 million.
The Wild get: the two top free agents on the market for 2012. Zach Parise, prior to his knee injury in 2010, was considered one of the five best forwards in the game (arguably). After taking much of that season off to recover from surgery he posted modest numbers in 2011-12. Ryan Suter is probably the most underrated two-way defenseman in the game. While the hockey world frothed at the mouth over the tremendous play of Shea Weber - with many handing him their own personal Norris Trophy - it was Suter who was often the better defenseman in Nashville. The team seemed to suffer more when Suter was out of the lineup, versus when Weber was out.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The range of expected points for Parise is vast - anywhere from the 69 points he tallied last year to the 94 points he got in 2009. For Suter, he's coming off a career high of 46 points and he will almost certainly build on that in a more free-flowing system with expected offense generated from the youngsters.
On defense, the move to sign Suter probably removes Tom Gilbert from the top PP unit and Marco Scandella or Steve Kampfer from the secondary one. Jared Spurgeon is a risk as well, but I think he'll hang onto that top spot and actually flourish with Suter. Potential star rookie Jonas Brodin will be allowed to develop slowly as either a No.4 or 5 d-man, or in the AHL/Sweden. In 2016 the pairing of Suter and Brodin will be one of legends. Mark it.
Up front, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund are the top two centers. One will play with Dany Heatley while the other plays with Parise. But that certainly beats Heatley and Darroll Powe! Give both of them a boost. The only person really losing from the Parise signing is maybe Devin Setoguchi, as he loses some PP time.
Potential line combos:
|Zach Parise||Mikko Koivu||PM Bouchard|
|Dany Heatley||Mikael Granlund||Devin Setoguchi|
|Matt Cullen||Kyle Brodziak||Cal Clutterbuck|
|Darroll Powe||Zenon Konopka||Torey Mitchell|
|Jason Zucker||Johan Larsson||Nick Palmieri|
|Ryan Suter||Tom Gilbert|
|Jared Spurgeon||Marco Scandella|
|Steven Kampfer||Jonas Brodin|
|Nate Prosser||Clayton Stoner|
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Everyone on the Wild. Make no mistake. But some more than others so let's give it a try...
5. Niklas Backstrom
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
5. Jason Zucker