St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said Wednesday his team wasn't sure where it stood in the pursuit of free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter until July 3 --- by 12:00 p.m. on July 4, both had signed 13-year, $98 million contracts.
"If you had asked me on July 2, I would have told you we weren't in it," Fletcher said. "We were in it, but we weren't in it. I didn't feel we were a major player at that time."
Skip ahead two days, and Fletcher is now one of the men responsible for bringing this year's biggest free agent names to Minnesota.
"Clearly they made a decision to come together. We were one of the teams in the league who could take on both players," Fletcher said. "Obviously both players have a connection to Minnesota, and I'd like to think they were excited about our future prospects as well."
Parise is a Minneapolis native and Suter hails from Madison, and both played their college hockey in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
Click the video link to hear more of Fletcher's comments, made Wednesday afternoon to our partners at KARE11 after announcement of the signings.