Some Wild fans had been in "pinch me this can't be real" mode for the better part of a week since the 4th of July when Zach Parise and Ryan Suter made the decision to bring their games to the Wild.
Those fans in attendance in a jam packed Xcel Energy Center lobby received reassurance Monday as both Parise and Suter were introduced and put on a Wild sweater for the first time.
"Free agents of Ryan and Zach's caliber are often attracted to major markets where there is more attention, brighter spotlights and frankly more money," said Wild owner Craig Leipold. "These two chose Minnesota over those things and in doing so have transformed our franchise."
The decision came down to multiple things. On the ice, the talented prospects along with the veterans the mission for the organization is to get back into the NHL's postseason.
"I think we are both excited to be a part of this organization," said Suter. "We see the talent that is here and we hope that we can add to it."
The two come in with a hockey pedigree that instantly turns this team into a contender in the Western Conference. Their sweaters also included a letter that forced Parise into a double take when head coach Mike Yeo was asked about both as alternate captains.
"We probably should have talked with Zach," said Yeo. "The type of commitment we have made with these two players, you don't do it unless you are bringing in two quality human beings. What they do on the ice speaks for itself, but what they are going to add to our group from a leadership, from a character standpoint, these guys are going to play a huge role for us."
The dialogue of playing together someday had been in the back of both players minds as their careers took them to different teams. The fact that they were both free agents at the same time led to their landing with a franchise that is thirsty for a contender.
"A couple of years ago at least, we might have joked about it," said Parise. "Leading up to July first we started to get real serious about it. We both felt that this would be a great fit for both of us."
If we found out anything new Monday, it was that this has been just as much of a dream come true for Parise and Suter as it is for the fans. They have been called saviors for a franchise that has been in search of an identity.
"We have played together on winning teams before," said Parise. "Hopefully we can do the same here."