It is the end of an era.
The Wild will be buying out the contracts of franchise cornerstones Zach Parise and Ryan Suter this offseason, according to Michael Russo of The Athletic.
On July 3, 2012, this duo shocked the NHL world, signing identical 13-year, $98 million contracts with the Wild. With four years remaining on the deals, the veterans will now become free agents on July 28.
Their contracts were front-loaded, so the Wild will pay each only $6.7 million total to each player over the next eight years.
However, the team will be charged with $2.371 million, $6.371 million, $7.371 million and $7.371 million cap hits for each player the next four years, respectively, followed by $833,333 cap hits for each player the following four years.
Sources told the site that Wild general manager Bill Guerin – who now has another $10.33 million in cap space to re-sign star forwards Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala, plus add a top center and other depth pieces – recently informed Parise and Suter of the news via a phone call.
Parise tallied 199 goals, 201 assists and 400 points over 558 games in nine seasons with the Wild. In the pandemic-shortened 2021 NHL season, the 36-year-old notched seven goals, 11 assists and 18 points in 45 games.
The Islanders could be an option to sign Parise, after the Wild attempted to complete a complicated trade in February that would have sent Parise to Long Island for Andrew Ladd and other pieces.
Suter, 36, recorded 55 goals and 369 points over 656 games in his nine seasons. Last year, the 36-year-old suited up for all 56 of the Wild’s games, scoring 19 points.
The Wild have been a very successful regular season team since signing Parise and Suter, going 354-237-74 (.588), which is the eighth best record in the NHL during that time. After finishing third in the Honda West Division in 2021, the Golden Knights eliminated the Wild in seven games in the first round.