Blackhawks miss out on Parise, Sutter
(MCT) — It's on to Plan B for Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. Or is it Plan C or D?
The Hawks missed out on the top two free agents available when Zach Parise and Ryan Suter decided to instead sign with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. The Hawks had been courting Parise and were among the finalists for the 27-year-old forward who had 31 goals and 38 assists last season for the New Jersey Devils. Parise and defenseman Suter each received 13-year deals worth $98 million, according to reports.
“This is a great day in the history of the Minnesota Wild,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement. “We are extremely excited to add the collective skill, experience and character of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to an already promising roster. We view this as a rare opportunity for us to transform our franchise by adding two marquee players, who are both in the prime of their careers, at the same time. I am grateful to Zach and Ryan and I am also thankful for the substantial commitment and support of Craig Leipold throughout this process. This is a huge step forward in our quest to bring a Stanley Cup to the deserving fans of the State of Hockey.”
The Hawks also made a run at goaltender Martin Brodeur earlier this week but the future Hall-of-Famer re-signed with the Devils. Since free agency began, Bowman has brought in defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to add depth to the defense.
A source said Bowman is under pressure from upper management to improve the Hawks, who have not made it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs the last two seasons.
With Parise and Suter signed, a logjam of players is expected to break with both signings or trades and it's expected the Hawks will continue to search for ways to bolster their lineup.
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