The results show Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, owner Craig Leipold and coach Mike Yeo did a masterful job in convincing free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to sign with the team Wednesday. But they got a little help in their recruiting pitch from some other Minnesota sports figures.
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and Twins star catcher Joe Mauer did their part in helping bring the two stars to the Wild.
Gardenhire is a noted hockey fan who has practiced in goal against the Wild and had a great thrill watching the top prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft take batting practice before a Twins-Pirates game in Pittsburgh last month.
In a video presented to Parise, Gardenhire showed off a signed photo of Parise in his Devils jersey that hangs on the bulletin board in his office at Target Field. He points to the photo and says, "I'd like that jersey to be green."
Gardenhire also waved a $5 bill at the camera, offering to add that to whatever contract the Wild had offered.
"I don't think he needs the $5, but I definitely sent him a video," Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I offered him about 18,000 rounds of batting practice. So I'll take credit for him."
Mauer shot videos for both Parise and Suter. In the Parise video, Mauer -- like Parise, a Minnesota native -- told Parise how much he's enjoyed playing in front of friends and family.
"I think I was wearing a Wild jersey," Mauer told the newspaper, "and I was just telling both of them that they'd look good in green."