On Tuesday a report came out from Bill Geuerin about the Minnesota Wild buying out the contracts of the final four seasons of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. Another report from Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts podcast, indicated that the Washington Capitals are a potential suitor for Suter.
Suter and Parise each signed identical 13 year, $98 million dollar contracts back on July 4, 2012 which included a cap hit or average annual value (AAV) of $7.54 million. The contract buyouts mean that the players will be unrestricted free agents on July 28.
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Here’s what Friedman said in his podcast about Suter:
"“I think a lot of people would be surprised if Suter ended up in Canada. He’s an American guy. He’s a Team USA guy. He’s always played in the states, I could always be surprised. I think Vegas, a lot of people think Colorado, I’ve had a few people think Washington, that those would be the kind of places that he could potentially end up. I had one guy who said, ‘Don’t forget he played for Barry Trotz.’ Is there any chance both of these guys — because everybody thinks Parise is going to the Islanders — is there any chance both of these guys end up on the Islanders? The people I know who know Suter say they’d be very surprised if he ended up in Canada [to reunite with Montreal’s Shea Weber].”"
Suter has a left handed shot. If the Caps were to lose a defensemen in the Seattle Expansion Draft it would actually do the team a huge favor if they’re looking to add on defense. Suter could play a similar role to Zdeno Chara, playing on the third pair with Nick Jensen. The Caps have three left handers returning which includes Dmitry Orlov, Brenden Dillon and Michal Kempny.
In 56 games last season, Suter scored three goals and added 16 assists for 19 points, finished with a plus/minus of +9 and had decent advanced stats. Those advanced stats included a 47.85 percent Corsi For percentage, a 52.74 percent Expected Goals For percentage and a 52.17 percent Scoring Chances For percentage all at five on five.
The Caps currently have just over $9 million in cap space. Suter’s next contract could likely be in the ballpark of $2-4 million as the Caps still need to re-sign Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Samsonov. Still, no matter who they lose in the expansion draft, it could free up more cap space and allow the team to add Suter to their blueline.