NEW YORK (WFAN) – Zach Parise has agreed a 13-year deal to return to his home state to join the Minnesota Wild.

Parise spent his entire career with the New Jersey Devils organization after being drafted by the franchise 17th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft.  After helping lead the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals, he is now heading home to transform the Wild into contenders.

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He’s scored 194 goals and 216 assists over 503 career games and will be bringing the Wild a huge offensive boost.

Parise will be joined by coveted defenseman Ryan Suter as the Wild have landed the two biggest NHL free agents of the 2012 class on the Fourth of July.  Both Parise and Suter will be given 13-year, $98 million dollar deals.

The Former Devils’ captain is delighted to link-up with Suter as he told the media during Wednesday’s conference call: “To have an opportunity to play with a guy (Suter) of that caliber is a great opportunity.”

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Many teams made their best pitches for Parise but were turned down.  Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers all made competitive offers for Parise, but the 27-year-old could’ve resist the lure of returning home to the Wild.

Since joining the NHL as an expansion team in 2000, the Wild are yet to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.  Now that Parise and Suter have joined Minnesota, the balance of power in the Western Conference has shifted dramatically.

Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher hailed the new signings, calling Wednesday, “A great day in the history of the Minnesota Wild.”

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Devils fans, how big of a blow is losing former captain Parise?