Wild buy out veterans Zach Parise and Ryan Suter; what’s next?

The Minnesota Wild made some big and expensive moves today. GM Bill Guerin has opted to buyout the remaining four years on the contracts of franchise stalwarts Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

Parise and Suter, both 36, signed with the Wild as free agents on July 4, 2012, and have played the past nine seasons together in Minnesota.

Wild buyout Zach Parise and Ryan Suter

“Zach and Ryan have been an integral part of the Wild’s success over the past nine years and we’ll always be grateful for their many contributions,” general manager Bill Guerin said in a news release on Tuesday. “There were numerous factors that entered into the difficult decision to buy out their contracts, but primarily these moves are a continuation of the transformation of our roster aimed at the eventual goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”

The Athletic reported that Parise and Suter each will be paid $6.7 million over the next eight years. Both signed 13-year, $98 million contracts in 2012.

Both players will become unrestricted free agents.

wild buyout Parise and Suter
May 28, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA;Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (11) celebrates with Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter (20) after scoring a first period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in game seven of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

“I want to thank Zach and Ryan for everything they did for our organization over the past nine seasons, both on and off the ice,” Wild owner Craig Leipold said in the release. “They were tremendous ambassadors for our team and helped us win a lot of games. I wish them nothing but the best going forward.”

Parise, a forward and a 16-year NHL veteran, tallied 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 45 games in 2021-22. He has 810 points (393 goals, 417 assists) in 1,060 career games with the New Jersey Devils (2005-12) and Wild.

He is a Minneapolis native.

Suter, a defenseman from Madison, Wis., posted 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 56 games in 2021-22. He has 607 points (93 goals, 514 assists) in 1,198 games with the Nashville Predators (2005-12) and Wild.

Minnesota reached the Stanley Cup playoffs eight times during their nine seasons with the club. The Wild lost a seven-game first-round series to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020-21.

Parise ranks third in Wild history in points (400) and seventh in games (558), while Suter ranks fourth in both points (369) and games (656).

What’s next for the Wild?

Now that the Wild have given themselves the ability to protect younger key players from the Seattle Expansion Draft, they also have $26 million in cap space per CapFriendly. What should they do next?

Make a run at Jack Eichel you say?

Sure, they could add Eichel’s $10 million hit next season, but what do you do for the next two seasons after that? Minnesota will have $12 million and $14 million in dead cap space respectively due to these buyouts.

Guerin will wisely use the bulk of his space on inking both Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala to longterm deals. He could also make a run a Seth Jones or Vladimir Tarasenko if he’d like. Bottom line is this, they still need to sign three more forwards and two defenseman for next year.

That cap space is going to be gone quick, plus they need to make sure they leave some wiggle room for the next two seasons.

–Field Level Media