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July 4th shocker: Parise, Suter both agree to sign with Wild

The Minnesota Wild scored a major coup in landing the two most sought-after free agents in the NHL: forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. New Jersey laments the loss of Minneapolis-born Parise, but Wild fans went nuts.
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Star left winger, Minneapolis-born Zach Parise has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild, the Star Tribune reports. The team also acquired a big-name defenseman in Ryan Suter. It was a significant coup for the team to acquire the two most sought-after free agents in the NHL.

Each player agreed to a 13-year, $98 million contract. Terms of the deal are identical, which was insisted upon by Parise.

In an open letter to Wild fans, team owner Craig Leipold says the Wild capitalized on "a rare opportunity to bring two players of this caliber, both in the prime of their careers, to our franchise."

Indeed, Wild fans went wild. The Pioneer Press collected their tweets.

Here's more from the team on the announcement.

In New Jersey, here's how the Star-Ledger examines the move: Who's to blame for Parise's departure?

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Despite being idled by the NHL lockout, roughly 3,000 Minnesota hockey fans got a chance to watch Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter in action Sunday night, Fox Sports North reports.

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The Minnesota Wild made the offers shortly after the free-market opened Sunday morning. Forward Zach Parise is a Minnesota native who is building a house in the Twin Cities, the Associated Press reports. Defenseman Ryan Suter is considered the top blue-liner on the market.

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While the Wild are expected to make a strong push to sign Zach Parise and Ryan Suter when free agency begins Sunday, they might have a hard time selling them on Minnesota being a winning program. GM Chuck Fletcher says, 'We're not far away. I say that all the time. You can't have the stretch that we did last season and call it a fluke."

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Imagine how good the Wild's top line would be if Zach Parise was centering it. Add a healthy Mikko Koivu to the second line and all of a sudden the Wild might be able to put up NHL-caliber numbers on offense. Parise will be a free agent after the season, and many fans are hoping he will sign with his hometown team.

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