No comparison between LeBron and Wild signings

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 5, 2012 - 11:22 PM

The Wild is exactly like the Heat. Except ...

hide

Comparing LeBron James (left, with Dwyane Wade) with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter just might be a stretch.

Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Twitter is a wonderful conduit through which to spew half-baked ideas that five minutes later sound as silly as Mike Tyson's falsetto.

When Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed with the Wild on Wednesday, Twitter turned into a receptacle for one-liners about Minnesota becoming the Miami Heat of the NHL.

Which is exactly right. No better comparison can be made. The Wild is Heat on Ice.

Lake Minnetonka is exactly like South Beach. Except we lack 55-year-old sun worshippers wearing G-strings. A description that also fits some of the South Beach women.

The Wild is exactly like the Heat: A franchise featuring a star and a team executive who had won championships and wanted to win another immediately.

Parise is just like LeBron James. James left his hometown team for a glamorous destination and a shortcut to a title. The only difference between the two is that Parise left a team on the cusp of a title to come home and help a mediocre franchise that hasn't won a playoff series since 2003 gain respectability.

The comparison between James and Parise is particularly apt, because James is the best player in the world in his sport and Parise is a top-20 player who chose not to play with the best player in the world, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

The most compelling reason to compare James and Parise is the way they handled their decisions. James worked with aggressively smarmy Jim Gray to conduct a one-hour television special that dragged out the announcement and led to James breaking Cleveland's heart in a way that indicated he didn't understand the impact of his words.

Then James and Chris Bosh flew to Miami and screamed and celebrated before ever winning a game together.

Parise, apparently, could not locate Gray. He met with reporters in Toronto when he didn't have to, was gracious when approached by reporters at the Minneapolis airport and conferred with his family at his home before making his decision.

Perhaps on Monday, during the Wild's introductory news conference, Parise and Suter will rip their shirts off and drink a few Fulton beers out of a fake Stanley Cup. But I doubt it.

The biggest difference between The Decision and Parise's decision is that James took the easy way out and Parise chose the path of maximum resistance.

James joined one of the best players in the NBA, in Dwyane Wade, and arrived with one of the best big men in the NBA, in Chris Bosh, to play for a team overseen by Pat Riley.

Parise could have signed with Pittsburgh and drafted behind Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He could have stayed in Jersey with Martin Brodeur and a team that almost won the Cup last season. He could have signed with one of the best organizations in hockey, in Detroit, or joined Jonathan Toews in Chicago.

That he chose Minnesota, for less money than he could have made elsewhere, makes this the rare free-agent signing that doesn't make you want to exfoliate.

Parise chose to play at home. He chose to take on the responsibility of becoming the best player on a team that requires a savior. He chose to sign for 13 years, meaning he may turn out to be more invested in the franchise than the current owner or general manager.

He's already done what Chuck Fletcher couldn't do in his first years on the job: Lure a prime free agent. Parise landed Suter for the Wild. Fletcher's biggest free-agent signing before this week was the regrettable Martin Havlat.

Before playing a single game with the Heat, James predicted he would win more than a half-dozen NBA titles. And he may. He's a great player who proved gracious in victory this summer.

Parise and Suter do not make the Wild instant favorites to win the Stanley Cup. What they do, instantly, is make the Xcel Energy Center a destination because of the jerseys on the ice, rather than those lining the walls. Finally, the building will no longer be the Wild's foremost star.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels 1 Bottom 4th Inning
Oakland 6
San Francisco 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Los Angeles 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 6th Inning
San Diego 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 20:00
Philadelphia 0
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 3rd Prd
Anaheim 3
Los Angeles 3 3rd Prd
Arizona 4
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 9:47
Los Angeles 2
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close