Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin announced Tuesday morning that the team will buy out the remaining four years of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter‘s contracts.

The buy-out ends the 9-season tenure of the two players, who signed 13-year contracts with the Wild on Independence Day in 2012.

Guerin commented on the buyout, calling the move a “difficult decision”, saying via press release:

"Zach and Ryan have been an integral part of the Wild's success over the past nine years and we'll always be grateful for their many contributions. There were numerous factors that entered into the difficult decision to buy out their contracts, but primarily these moves are a continuation of the transformation of our roster aimed at the eventual goal of winning a Stanley Cup."

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The team’s owner Craig Leipold also offered comment, saying:

"I want to thank Zach and Ryan for everything they did for our organization over the past nine seasons, both on and off the ice. They were tremendous ambassadors for our team and helped us win a lot of games. I wish them nothing but the best going forward."

According to Sports Illustrated, the buyout will create a $7,538,461 cap hit for each of the two players over the next 8 seasons. The breakdown of the cap hits over the next 8 seasons, as explained by CapFriendly is identical for both players, broken down below.

While these buyouts do create some up-front savings (including $10.33 million in cap space for the upcoming season), the move does generate a long-term financial liability for players that will no longer wear a Wild sweater.

Financial considerations aside, some sports pundits do point out that the move also offers some flexibility going into the expansion draft to protect players from being scooped by the Seattle Kraken that might offer higher long-term value than Parise or Suter. The expansion draft is scheduled for July 21, and will be governed by the same rules the the NHL put in place for the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft.

While 36 year old Suter had still been a core component of the Wild's 2020-2021 season, 36 year old Parise was a healthy scratch several times during the season and had a limited presence during the team's 2021 playoffs appearance.

Both players now become unrestricted free agents, eligible to sign deals with any team in the NHL, except the Wild.

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