By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
So, the Minnesota Wild pulls off the double-double, landing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in what now very clearly was a package deal: Both signed for 13 years and $98 million.
Here’s coverage in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
What next for the Penguins?
The priority in terms of an outside acquisition has to remain the winger. Ray Shero has plenty of internal options among young D-men, even if they take lumps early. Doesn’t he couldn’t use another veteran or two from the outside, just that the winger is more important. There are no internal solutions for a top-six winger, shy of bumping Tyler Kennedy up. (Ducks for cover.) Also, there is the not-so-small matter of coming through for Sidney Crosby after he gave up about $5 million a year so Shero could get him some help.
Shane Doan won’t leave Phoenix, and the rest of free agency is blah for wingers. So that means a trade, with the top commodities being Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan. I can’t take Ryan too seriously, as he’s known to have asked the Ducks to send him specifically to the Flyers. (He’s a local.) Doesn’t make for a great fit.
Man, that’s been a hard read for a very long time.
On one hand, the Penguins and Blue Jackets look like logical trade partners. Both teams’ scouts see others way more than the norm because of the three-hour drive, and Craig Patrick is in Columbus. More important, the Jackets want young D-men in the worst way. That’s why they sent Jeff Carter to the Kings for Jack Johnson, even as they were trying to move Nash. The Penguins obviously have that to give.
But is Nash right?
I covered the Vancouver Olympics, and I can attest first-hand that Crosby and Nash had zero chemistry. But I also can stress we’re talking about a couple games here. Many, many players new to Sid with the Penguins have struggled, too. He’s not your conventional center. So let’s not make too much of this.
The bigger issue now with Nash is that, with Parise gone, he’s now the main man. The Jackets have known this and patiently waited it out. And now all those teams that were tossing nine figures at Parise can line up at Columbus’ window.
Going to be a long summer around here.
Thursday is columnist Joe Starkey’s day to write, and he’ll share his thoughts tomorrow.
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