It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities.
According to The Athletic's Michael Russo and confirmed by the club, the Minnesota Wild have informed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter that the team has bought out the remainder of their contracts, thus ending the pair's nine-year tenure with the organization.
Both Parise and Suter have four years remaining on each of their contracts, which carry identical $7,538,461 cap hits. As a result of the buyout, the pair will now count against the Wild's cap for the next eight seasons, with respective cap hits of $2,371,794 in the first year, $6,371,794 in the second year, $7,371,794 in years three and four, and then $833,333 for the remaining four years.
Regardless of the immediate flexibility this move affords general manager Bill Guerin, that is quite the chunk of cap dedicated to two players no longer playing for the team.
And whether it was through a buyout or trade, Parise and Suter both seemed destined for messy splits with the Wild from the beginning.
The pair made waves on July 4th, 2012 by signing identical 13-year, $98 million contracts, moves which just so happened to occur the year before a lockout ultimately rendered deals carrying such lengthy terms illegal. Even if both players did play out their entire contracts in Minnesota, the result wouldn't have been pretty. When those 13 years were up, Parise and Suter would both hit free agency at the age of 40, well past their primes and eons past when either would warrant their current salaries.
The writing had begun gracing the wall already, even.
Parise was a healthy scratch on numerous occasions throughout the 2021 season, sitting for three of the Wild's seven postseason games in their first-round defeat at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche while averaging only a smidge over 13 minutes whenever he did manage to draw in. Suter, on the other hand, suited up for all of the Wild's games last season, albeit logging his lowest average time on ice since 2008 and scoring the lowest points-per-60-minutes of his entire career in the process.
With both players now victims of a reported buyout, the Wild are set to gain $10.33 million in cap space ahead of a summer in which they must re-sign young core pieces named Kiril Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala.
Buckle up. Silly Season has just begun.