It happened, It really actually happened. The Minnesota Wild have bought out the contracts of both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. This move will clear up an additional 10.3 million in cap space for the Wild. The first thing I would like to say is, I have loved watching Suter and Parise throughout the years. They both helped the Minnesota Wild franchise progress to a competitive team that has playoff admirations every season. The two were part of the Franchise for 9 seasons. The contracts at the time seemed a bit steep and in reality they ended up becoming very un-team friendly in the end. Production from both players really tapered off throughout the years and at one point during the 2020-21, Parise was a healthy scratch. The Wild also have players like Brodin, Spurgeon, and Zuccarello, who also have a NMC in their deals. Buying out these two was crucial in protecting the youth players on the team from being selected in the upcoming expansion draft.
We do have to talk about the elephant in the room that is the dead cap hit that Minnesota will be taking on with these buyouts. The numbers are atrocious with the first year being around 4.7 million followed by 12.7 million in 2022-23 and then finally the biggest number of 14.7 million for the 2023-24 & 2024-25 seasons. After that the number of the dead cap charge drops below 1.7 Million. On paper this looks like a terrible spot the Wild have put themselves in. In my opinion, this will pay off in the end. The team gets to use two more protection picks with two NMC’s coming off the books. The Wild can now protect the likes of Nico Sturm, Jordan Greenway or others in order to prevent them becoming Seattle Kraken. Kevin Fiala is another name to keep an eye on during these times. He is currently a restricted free agent and with the buyout, you could see some money thrown at him.
On the other side of things, both Suter and Praise are going to be Free Agents. I would say these two would gladly play for a lower amount than what they were receiving in Minnesota, It also helps that the Wild will be paying them for a couple more years as well. Many teams out there are always hungry for a veteran defenseman such as Suter. As we saw with the most recent deal of Duncan Keith going to Edmonton. A player like Zach Parise could see himself sign with a team with young talent that may end up being offensively starved. This could allow the 36-year-old forward a chance to crack a team’s Top-9 forward group. Obviously, the scoring touch has come and gone in Parise’s game, however the leadership is an attribute that never leaves. I wish both of them well in their future endeavors.Embed from Getty Images