While it wasn't the Hollywood production that occurred in South Beach two summers ago, Minnesota had their own spectacle just inside the Xcel Energy Center Monday afternoon. Former Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter and former New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise made their joint debut as members of the Minnesota Wild after signing matching 13 year, $98 million contracts. The press conference was well attended by members of the local media and the two stars were clear about their goals.
Besides Parise and Suter reiterating the reasons they had to sign with the team and Minnesota owner Craig Leipold, head coach Mike Yeo and General Manager Chuck Fletcher discussing their joy, there was one surprise. When the two free agents put on their jerseys for the first time - Suter wearing #20 and Parise wearing #11 - both had the letter "A."
This likely means that last year's alternate captains, Matt Cullen and Dany Heatley (Nick Schultz was a permanent alternate before being traded to Edmonton), won't have the same responsibilities in 2012-2013. Whether or not having two players who just joined a team be given that responsibility is a good thing can be debated - and in fact, Heatley became a rotating alternate in his first season with the Wild last year - but today was all about Minnesota's $196 Million free agency splash.
You can watch the full press conference after the jump via both Wild TV and (if you're mobile) Youtube.
Youtube Part I
We'll have more analysis on the two newest members of the Wild throughout the week or until every idea gets taken up; whichever comes first.
(h/t Felix Levasque)