Zach Parise, Ryan Suter

Top 2012: Suter, Parise sign with Wild


Wild owner Craig Leipold called it a “huge step forward” for the franchise.

Others called it blatant hypocrisy.

On July 4, it was announced that free agents Ryan Suter and Zack Parise had signed identical 13-year, $98 million contracts with a Minnesota team that had missed the playoffs four straight times.

Shortly thereafter, the NHL locked out the players to make sure contracts like those would never be signed again.

Among those leading the charge for the league? Leipold.

For the owners, the optics were terrible. Once again they had become their own worst enemies, signing players to deals they couldn’t afford then asking the players to bail them out.

But what was a mid-market team like the Wild supposed to do? Just let the rich clubs get all the good free agents?

Hockey fans know all the arguments by now, and they’re sick of hearing them.

What’s not known is if Suter and Parise were worth all the fuss. Because for all the attention they received as free agents, neither has won a Stanley Cup or a major award.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: