Friday, July 6, 2012
Parise/Suter Burn Bridges
1) Not that either former UFA's Ryan Suter nor Zac Parise have much to worry about with regard how they are being portrayed/discussed in NHL inner circles. (They are essentially done with negotiating contracts for their careers) but the two made no friends with regard to how they both handled the process. Non followers of this blog were probably thinking like the other pursuing clubs that they had a legitimate shot at landing one or both of the former free agents. (As we have mentioned we were alerted to the linkage deals among the 2 days before it was announced) The problem is that the agents for the duo handled the process and discussed with multiple teams as if there was no such possibility.
2) As one person close to the process (who works for a spurned team) told us yesterday afternoon, "those bastards (the agents) used us as pawns to jack up the price..... I don't think they ever were going anywhere else!" We have to agree, as other sources have now confirmed that after the season ended for Parise he and Suter met in Minny to discuss their futures with their respective agents and they formed a game plan. Their agents were instructed to get both of them long term deals with the same team, preferably Minnesota, although Detroit was left as the back up if the Wild appeared disinterested in such an arrangement.
3) Evidently early on the Wild were all over the possibility and gave a very nice offer, but not quite what the two (agents) thought they could get so they continued to listen. Starting with at least 20 offers on July 1st, followed by 5-6 VERY serious long term offers for each. Clubs were miffed they couldn't tale directly with either player/make a presentation explaining the benefits of moving to their city, etc. Both are not the most overt types, and they were a little queasy at the process and didn't feel comfortable meeting with teams face to face knowing their real intentions so they let their representatives do all the talking for them.
4) One doesn't have to read between the lines too far to see that BOTH the former clubs (NJ and Nashville) were none too happy with how it was handled. When interviewed Lou Lamarello and David Poile didn't pull punches about how they felt about the process and that they weren't thrilled how things went. Additionally, the Redwings were quite miffed. They aren't going public as they still are pursuing 'other options', but internally Ken Holland was livid. He felt quite used as he was told he was close to getting both when he submitted his offer. When he found out his offer was basically copied and pasted on to the Wild (13 years, 98 million) he knew that all he had done was help the players' negotiating position with Minny and they apparently had no intention of signing with anyone else.
5) Once again, neither player needs to worry as they are financially set, but their agents may be another story. Both the Agents for Zac Parise, (Wade Arnott/Don Meehan) and Ryan Suter, (Neil Sheehy) are now 'tainted' a bit. However, from what we can discern its unlikely they will be blackballed or feel the wrath from teams in any meaningful way. As one veteran Eastern Conference exec told us yesterday morning, "if that asshole Mark Gandler is still allowed to be talked to we'll talk to anyone." That referring to agent Gandler who handles a lot of the Russian Euro players and over the years has had run-ins with teams (See Alex Yashin)