Parise Suter

Minnesota introduces Parise and Suter — its new alternate captains


The Minnesota Wild introduced Zach Parise and Ryan Suter today and, in doing so, introduced their two newest alternate captains as well.

After putting on the No. 11 and 20 jerseys, Parise and Suter revealed they’d both be wearing an “A” for 2012-13 — something that initially caught Parise off-guard, with Wild head coach Mike Yeo joking, “We probably should have talked about that.”

The joking was only temporary, though. Yeo quickly got serious about what Parise and Suter mean to his club.

“[You don’t make] the type of commitment for these types of players unless you bring in two quality human beings,” Yeo said. “What they do on the ice speaks for itself, but what they will add to our group from a leadership and character standpoint — they’re going to play a huge role for us, and we’re expecting them to be leaders for a long time.”

Parise described the leadership qualities he and Suter bring to the table.

“Bot of us are lead by example type of guys,” he said. “I don’t think either of us are rah-rah guys but at certain times we’ll say something if things need to be said.

“We lead by example on the ice and off the ice.”

Parise and Suter will join a big leadership group in Minnesota, headed by captain Mikko Koivu and last season’s alternates, Matt Cullen and Dany Heatley. The Wild also have several long-serving members in the room, like Pierre-Marc Bouchard (who’s been with the club since 2002) and Nicklas Backstrom (the franchise’s all-time wins leader.)

(Photo courtesy the Minnesota Star-Tribune)

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.