The Flyers didn't win the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter sweepstakes, but you could say they didn't lose either. Both players reportedly have agreed to identical 13-year contracts with the Minnesota Wild worth $98 million, ending a three-day old waiting game, and likely breaking up the free agency logjam.
Why exactly are the Flyers not losers in this? Hey, at least Parise and Suter aren't winding up in Pittsburgh.
Of all the potential suitors for their services, Parise and Suter chose a franchise that will clash with the Orange and Black no more than twice per season, and only in a Stanley Cup Final if at all in the playoffs -- should it ever comes to that, we doubt too many people would mind. Also, in losing Parise, the New Jersey Devils take a step back, and in failing to add either player, the Penguins don't become significantly more dangerous themselves.
The other possible benefit to the Flyers not getting a deal done with one or both is it will not further strain the always-tight salary cap situation. We still would have taken either, but if there was any reason at all not to get involved, it was cold, hard cash.
So what's next? Expect Paul Holmgren's pursuit of Matt Carle to pick up, along with continued rumblings about a swap for Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan. By all accounts, the Flyers are determined to make a splash this offseason, and those are the names we've been hearing for a month. We only hope they hold off until tomorrow before there are any more major announcements, being it's July 4 and all.
Congratulations are in order to the Wild, who have changed the landscape of the NHL in one fell swoop.