Wild sign Suter, Parise; Phoenix signs Sullivan

Minnesota signs stars to 13-year, $98M contracts

By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 05:29 AM PDT Jul 05, 2012 
hockey sticks, generic, NHL

The Fourth of July turned out to be a Wild celebration in Minnesota.

The NHL franchise signed top defenseman Ryan Suter and top forward Zach Parise to 13-year deals on the nation's birthday, which will also mark a monumental day in Wild history.

Both deals are worth $98 million, according to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun. The signings brings two stars an organization that has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons.

"This is a great day in the history of the Minnesota Wild," general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We are extremely excited to add the collective skill, experience and character of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to an already promising roster. We view this as a rare opportunity for us to transform our franchise by adding two marquee players, who are both in the prime of their careers."

Suter, 27, was selected seventh overall in 2003 and spent the first seven years of his career with the Nashville Predators, playing in 542 games. He scored a career-high 46 points last season.

Parise, 27, was the 17th pick in the 2003 draft by the Devils, and spent seven years in New Jersey. He ranks fourth team history with 194 goals, and ninth with 410 points. He hails from Minneapolis, went to Shattuck-St. Mary's High School and is the son of former North Stars player and assistant coach J.P. Parise.

---The Phoenix Coyotes have signed left wing Steve Sullivan to a one-year, $1.85 million contract, according to multiple reports.

Sullivan, who turns 38 on Friday, had 17 goals and 48 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. The Penguins reportedly had interest in keeping Sullivan, but were waiting for a decision from free-agent Zach Parise.

"We had to move on at some point. Can't wait forever," Stephen Bartlett, Sullivan's agent, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

With Phoenix, Sullivan will help offset the loss of Ray Whitney, who signed with Dallas earlier this week.