Thursday, July 05, 2012

My thoughts on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signing with the Minnesota Wild, not the Detroit Red Wings

I suppose the reaction to the Red Wings not signing free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise is predictable, but it doesn't make it any less pathetic in the sense we've known all along this is less "Hockey Town" than "Band Wagon Town."
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.
The perception Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were 1 and 1-A along the blueline  in Nashville is a joke. Weber is the much better player. Suter has never been either a first- or second-team NHL All Star. He didn't have a particularly good playoff season last spring. Weber was the difference vs. the Red Wings, and both disappeared against Phoenix. In 39 playoff games, Suter has one power-play goal and is minus 4.
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.


Anonymous Michael C said...

Just once it would be nice to see you not exaggerate the other point of view and make it sound like everyone that doesn't agree with you is an idiot.

It makes you look very immature.

3:13 PM 
Blogger rick snares said...

Well said Pat, that money was crazy it's not like they were Booby Orr and Phil Esposito. We have been waiting for the young guys, well now its time for them to play, anything can happen in the playoffs ask LA just get in and they can win. So Wing fans step away from the ledge take a deep breath and look up the Harkness years.......could be way worse.....

10:02 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, i thought Suter was a bit overrated. The length of these contracts are getting silly. Both these players will be in their 40s when their contract is done.

12:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you going to tell us all to heed caution last week if Suter would've actually signed a mega-contract with the Wings or would you have been heaping praises instead?

That makes it difficult to take opinion pieces like this seriously.

1:59 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone is a little bitter to me, if suter signed for 90 mil you would be talking aout how hes going to try and fill the giant hole left by lidstrom. I dont see how a 13 year deal is rediculously long for these players, but for zetterberg its cool. And you know as well as I do that +/- is the worst way to evaluate a player. Lidstrom was a -2 on the '11 season the year won the norris

7:58 PM 

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