Zach Parise battles Philadelphia's Nicklas Grossmann for position… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the top two free agents available this offseason in the NHL, have answered a call to the Wild. Minnesota landed the former New Jersey Devils captain and center as well as one of the NHL's top defenseman.
The Wild, which finished 12th in the Western Conference last season with 81 points, announced on Twitter: “WE GOT 'EM!”
“This is a great day in the history of the Minnesota Wild,” Minnesota Gneral Manager Chuck Fletcher said.
Parise, who helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final against the eventual champion Los Angeles Kings, and Suter, an anchor for the Nashville Predators defense, each agreed to 13-year contracts believed to be worth up to $100 million.
Parise, who scored 31 goals and had 69 points last season, was the best free-agent forward.
The Minnesota native, wo was drafted 17th overall by the Devils in 2003, had 15 points in the playoffs for New Jersey, which made the NHL finals as the fifth-seeded team in the Eastern Conference. The 27-year-old, who has scored at least 30 goals five times in his career, has 194 goals and 216 assists in 503 NHL games.
Parise said he recruited Suter to join him in Minnesota.
“We kept in touch throughout this whole thing and we decided that we thought for both of us that the best fit would be Minnesota,” Parise said. “We're excited that it worked out and we get a chance to play with each other.”
Suter, who is also 27, was the top free-agent defenseman and spent all seven seasons in the NHL with the Predators after they selected him seventh overall in 2005. He had career highs in points last year with seven goals and 39 assists.
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Associated Press contributed to this report.