The Minnesota Wild bought out forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. Both were signed on the same day just over nine years ago to big-money deals ($98 million over 14 years). Now they’re free agents and linking both vets to the New York Islanders makes a ton of sense.
The link to Zach Parise is easy to make. Lou Lamoriello drafted Parise back in 2003 and had him with the Devils until he decided to go back home for big money. There’s also the fact that Lou tried to acquired Parise at the 2020 trade deadline, and maybe even earlier than that (subscription required). There’s no doubt he’ll try to do it again.
For Suter, he’s a former Barry Trotz disciple. The Islanders head coach watched over Suter from 2005 through 2011 when he joined Minnesota as a free agent.
Adding both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter just makes sense for New York Islanders
Both are still effective players in this league. Even Wild GM Bill Guerin believes so.
Say what you will about Suter’s age but he’s still a good player at the NHL level. Sure, he’s not in his prime anymore but he’s a year removed from a 48 point season with eight goals, in 68 games mind you. Pace that over a full NHL season and Suter puts up 57 points.
Again, he’s still a good defenseman. Not great, but good. He still has his weaknesses. Specifically in the D-zone.
Assuming Nick Leddy is traded or selected in the Seattle expansion draft, plugging Suter in his spot makes a lot of sense.
That might be an old d-core (average age is 29.16) but that’s still a strong defensive group to play a Barry Trotz system. Something that won’t be new to anyone in this six. Which is important. We see it year-over-year how new additions have a hard time getting up to speed in Barry’s system and initially struggle. That won’t be the case with Suter.
Parise Adding to Third Line Competiton
Adding Parise immediately puts him in the running for a spot on the Islanders third line next to Jean-Gabriel Pageau. And with 18 points in 45 games, he’s already a better offensive option than some of the guys currently vying for that spot on Pageau’s left-flank.
Leo Komarov, Michael Dal Colle, Ross Johnston, and Kieffer Bellows combined for 16 points last year.
Just like Suter, Parise is still good offensively but is weak in the d-zone.
Can he play a Barry Trotz system? Yeah. No doubt. Remember, Parise comes from the school of Lou Lamoriello where defensive hockey is preached as gospel. He’s also played under head coach Jacques Lemaire who’s a special assignment coach for the Islanders and has been since Lou arrived.
Again, Lou has already tried to bring in Parise before through the trade market. Now he can bring him in for free and on a cheap contract. You know he’s going to do it.
Signing both Parise and Suter just makes sense for the New York Islanders. Not only can they be signed for bottom dollar they can valuable assets. Don’t be surprised if Lou Lamoriello tried to bring both to the Island.