Ryan Suter can finally smile and even allow himself to laugh about what will always be an odd coincidence, because he can laugh about a lot of things now.
Time heals, winning helps, and friendship goes a long way toward turning your world right side up again after feeling like everything was falling apart.
Suter and Minnesota Wild teammate Zach Parise know this all too well.
"It's kind of weird actually if you think about that, how it's everything we've gone through together," Suter said. "But what are the odds of something like this last year happening? That's how I feel when I think about it, like, really, this is just weird."
Suter and Parise created a lasting link when they signed matching 13-year, $98 million contracts on July 4, 2012; they formed a bond only they can understand this season because each lost his father in a tragic way.