Zach Parise has gotten off to a scorching start in his first season with the Minnesota Wild. His fellow free agent signee, Ryan Suter, hasn’t been so lucky.
Heading into last summer’s free agency “frenzy”, Suter was the top free agent defenseman by a mile. However, there were questions about his ability to carry a blue line as a no. 1 guy.
The reason for those concerns was the fact that Suter was so used to playing next to Shea Weber. When you’re playing next to a perennial Norris Trophy candidate, life tends to be pretty easy. Especially when Weber was handling most of the physical side of things when the two were with the Nashville Predators.
To this point, though it’s early, it doesn’t appear that Suter has grown accustomed to playing without his elite defensive partner. Offensively, there are no concerns about Suter. He already has three points this season after posting a career high 46 during the 2011-2012 campaign.
Its in his own end that Suter has struggled a bit. His play in front of the net could use some work, as it has already cost the Wild a couple of times. If he can lock that down, he should prove worth the money for the Wild.
It will be interesting to see how he performs with new defensive partner Jonas Brodin. The Wild see the 19-year-old as a future regular on the blue line, which means we could be getting a glimpse into the future for Minnesota when the two are paired together on Tuesday night.
There was bound to be an adjustment period for Suter. Playing without Shea Weber will cause anyone to start out a bit rusty. He should pick up his play in the defensive zone very soon and get back to that well-rounded form that he is so well known for.