Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Zach Parisé and Ryan Suter go Wild
I think it's generally good news that the duo of Zach Parisé and Ryan Suter signed up with the Minnesota Wild, as opposed to traditional powers such as the Penguins or Red Wings. As much as Gary Bettman wants to plunk franchises in hockey hotbeds like Atlanta and Phoenix and Tampa Bay, the state of Minnesota is a natural hockey market that for some reason has had lean years in the NHL. The state produces a lot of hockey talent, has a huge high school hockey tradition, and should be served with an exciting team to watch at the highest professional level. If any franchises deserve to be propped up, or to receive more media attention, it's the Wild.
It is too bad that the North Stars packed up and left for Dallas due to ownership intrigue, they were one of the first expansion franchises and had a cool logo and name, and it's regrettable also that the Wild have been known as a stultifyingly boring team, due in no small part to the Jacques Lemaire trap years, when he made do with little talent and managed to ice a competitive team. Fans in Vancouver were forever trying to foist tickets for games against the division rivals Wild on their 'friends', a ploy which this sucker fell for a couple of times.
We'll debate the logic or irrationality of these contracts for years to come, but the immediate benefit will be another team on the NBC 'Game of the Week' rotation of Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, repeat cycle. If it generates some buzz in the States and in Minneapolis-St. Paul, then all for the better.