Wild buying out final four years of massive Parise, Suter contracts

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The Minnesota Wild has made the first move in the NHL’s buyout window and will be parting ways with both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

Nine years after signing Parise and Suter to identical 13-year, $98M contracts, the Wild is buying out the remaining four seasons of their deals.

Parise and Suter will waive their no-move clauses to make this happen, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, and be able to bypass waivers to become unrestricted free agents on July 28.

“Zach and Ryan have been an integral part of the Wild’s success over the past nine years and we’ll always be grateful for their many contributions,” said Wild general manager Bill Guerin in a statement. “There were numerous factors that entered into the difficult decision to buy out their contracts, but primarily these moves are a continuation of the transformation of our roster aimed at the eventual goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”

The cap damage

According to Cap Friendly, the combined buyouts will look like this on the Wild’s salary cap:

2021-22: $4,743,588 million ($10.3M savings)
2022-23: $12,743,588 million ($2.3M savings)
2023-24: $14,743,588 million ($0.3M savings)
2024-25: $14,743,588 million ($0.3M savings)
2025-26: $1,666,666 million (-$1,666,666 savings)
2026-27: $1,666,666 million (-$1,666,666 savings)
2027-28: $1,666,666 million (-$1,666,666 savings)
2028-29: $1,666,666 million (-$1,666,666 savings)

Those three seasons from 2022-23 to 2024-25 is what happens to front-loaded contracts when they go bad.

What did the Wild get for their investment? Eight playoff appearances, two series victories, and no opportunities to play beyond the First Round/Qualifying Round.

In the immediate frame, this frees up $10.33M for Guerin to spend this offseason. Somewhere in Russia Kirill Kaprizov is smiling, as is Kevin Fiala. This also adds Minnesota to the list of destinations where Jack Eichel could land in a trade.

Where do Parise and Suter go from here?

After the rumored trade fell through a few seasons ago, the Islanders seem like an ideal landing spot for the soon-to-be 37-year-old Parise. There’s already the connection to Lou Lamoriello and the fact that Parise’s dad played parts of four seasons on Long Island in the late 1970s. For the 36-year-old Suter, a team looking to bolster its depth on the blue line will benefit.

When the NHL free agent market opens in two weeks, teams looking to add either player will be able to do so for cheap, a bonus with the cap ceiling not increasing any time soon.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.