My thoughts on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signing with the Minnesota Wild, not the Detroit Red Wings
Now, because Suter turned down a $90 million offer from Ken Holland, Holland is another Matt Millen, the team should change its name from the "Red Wings" to the "Orange Cones" because they will be just a bunch pylons from now on, and Al Sobotka shouldn't even bother to flood the ice at Joe Louis Arena this fall.
A couple, hopefully enlightening, things:
- The tea leaves were really clear that Parise was going to Minnesota. His roots are strongly entrenched there in every way. His father was a legendary star for the old North Stars, he starred in Minnesota's renown high school hockey system, he just build a house there and his future wife is from there.
- Suter, A Wisconsin kid, has a similar background in there are no ties to Detroit and his wife is from Minnesota.
- All this notion the Red Wings "can't draw the premier free agents anymore" is not true. Detroit still has it's advantages. It's still a border city to Canada, still has strong ties in Europe and many European players enjoying playing here. It still has the edge of having many top players who are from this state, and players that played college hockey in this state. The Red Wings front office and ownership still has a tremendous reputation. It's not like the perception is the Red Wings are perennial losers.
But they didn't fit here with these two particular American-born players, who played their college hockey in the WCCHA not the CCHA.
Another thing: Neither one of these players is worth $90 million. It might turn out to be the best thing that happened to the Red Wings is getting snubbed here.
Parise has been a second-team NHL All-Star - once. And he was brilliant in the 2010 Olympics, which is probably the best thing on his resume. He had two reasonably big seasons in New Jersey, but his numbers did drop last season. The Devils did get to the Stanley Cup finals unexpectedly, but it wasn't like he was a scoring machine. He had eight goals in 24 playoff games, just 15 points and was minus 8.
By pointing this out, I'm not saying these two players wouldn't have helped the Red Wings. They would have - absolutely. But the cost was ridiculous, and guaranteed the Red Wings nothing.
I do feel during this last playoff season, the Red Wings displayed virtually no urgency, and it does seem like they've been resting on their laurels. As such, the severe public criticism they are receiving may ultimately be of benefit.
But because they didn't land Zach Parise or Ryan Suter doesn't mean it is the end of the hockey world as we've known it.