Top 5

Jonas Hiller

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was born in Switzerland and is fluent in German, French and English. Here are his Top 5 cities in Europe:


  1. Bern, Switzerland

  2. Prague, Czech Republic

  3. Paris, France

  4. Barcelona, Spain

  5. Rome, Italy

NHL Confidential

Brad RichardsonVancouver Canucks forward Brad Richardson, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, recommends John Elway's restaurant in suburban Denver. "It’s the best prime rib I’ve ever had," Richardson says. "Have it with the creamed corn."

JP

Breaking down Zach and Ryan’s choice.

 Zach Parise Ryan Suter

Daniel and Henrik Sedin are strange. The identical twins signed identical contracts with the Vancouver Canucks multiple times. They room together on road trips. They’ve spent every waking second together since the fetal stage of their development. Heck, I half-expect to see Daniel when viewing Henrik’s Wikipedia page.

The Sedins, however, have an excuse: They’re the Sedins. Weird is just their genetic make-up.

But what’s the excuse for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who recently signed identical contracts with the Minnesota Wild? Their peculiar bond during a free-agent-courting spree was like nothing we’ve ever seen before. They exchanged text messages year-round, generated massive speculation among Cup-hungry cities, riled fans in Pittsburgh and Detroit to crazy heights, then …

Landed in Minnesota? That makes the Sedin brothers look like the Blues Brothers.

No offense Minnesota, but you’re Minnesota. Dany Heatley’s best days are behind him, Devin Setoguchi slips during shootouts and Pierre-Marc Bouchard reminds us of Pierre McGuire.

You gotta wonder how Lloyd Christmas Parise and Harry Dunne Suter broke down each team on their list of potential destinations as their choice unfolded …

PHILADELPHIA

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren started the bidding by setting the contractual stakes at 12-years, $80-million (one report even said $110 million).

You see, Holmgren established the parameters. Thus, it forced rival teams to exceed his initial offer. The Philadelphia Daily News called it “gamesmanship.”

But we think it was just an irrational decision by Holmgren, no harm intended.

After all, our assertion is backed up by an ill-tempered poker game1 the night before they signed:

ZACH PARISE: (Counting chips) … 600 … 700 … 725 … 735 … I’m all in.

RYAN SUTER: Call.

PAUL HOLMGREN: Call.

PARISE: (Flips over cards) Pocket Kings.

SEAN AVERY: Yeah, how about those L.A. Kings, bro?

PARISE: (Stares)

SUTER: (Flips over cards) I got pocket Aces.

HOLMGREN: (Flips over cards ) … Uhhh …

PARISE: You called with 2-4?

SUTER: Offsuit?

HOLMGREN: Well .. I …

DEALER: (Performs the flop: 2, 4, 4)

PARISE: What? A FULL HOUSE?!?

SUTER: Unbelievable!

PARISE: Maaan, screw you, Holmgren.

SUTER: Right behind you, bro.

PARISE: (Leaves table.)

SUTER: (Leaves table.)

HOLMGREN: Wait, hold on! I thought you guys were playing together and sucking everybody into the pot. You know, play together on the ice, and at the table?

So maybe that 12-year, $80-million offer wasn’t a ploy – just a silly move that resulted in disaster. Holmgren clearly cannot read the market, nor can he read a poker table.

NEW JERSEY

Why not sign with the Stanley Cup finalists? Adam Henrique’s three game-winners solidified himself as a cold-blooded, goal-scoring hero. Ilya Kovalchuk is signed through 2077. Rex Ryan in a Devils jersey can turn any sour mood into a smile.

What’s not to like?

PARISE: How about playing here? I’ll take less money …

SUTER: I don’t need Marty Brodeur stealing my wife, bro.

And that was it.

PITTSBURGH

Can you imagine Sidney Crosby and James Neal on the top line, then Evgeni Malkin and Zach Parise on the second line? That’s 1980s Edmonton Oilers stuff. Games would never reach the shootout stage, because Crosby, Neal, Parise and Malkin would take the ice and end it 30 seconds into overtime.

How did this guaranteed Cup dynasty go wrong?

PARISE: Have you seen those guys pick on James Neal?

SUTER: No, but Crosby will taunt us about his Olympic OT-winner.

PARISE: What if Matt Cooke runs me in training camp?

SUTER: What if Marc-Andre Fleury stops me in training camp?

PARISE: Forget this place.

SUTER: Yeah. And Neal’s hair obsession is weird, too.

PARISE: And how can we play for coach Dan Bylsma? He won’t fight Brendan Shanahan on discipline issues, right?

DETROIT

Why not go to Hockeytown? Eleven Stanley Cup banners hang from the majestic rafters in Joe Louis Arena, an environment with rabid fans who would jump off the Ambassador Bridge if it guaranteed a parade down Woodward Ave.

SUTER: Umm … maybe we shouldn’t go to Detroit.

PARISE: What? Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk? What’s not to like?

SUTER: Shea Weber …

PARISE: What about Shea Weber?

SUTER: We’ll face him six times a year …

PARISE: So?

SUTER: He just left me a vicious voicemail. He sounded like an ogre.

PARISE: What? An ogre? Have you been watching Shrek?

SUTER: (Voice quivering) Weber said, “If you go to Hockeytown, you’ll be Zetterberged and Liljaed!”

PARISE: Are you really gonna let that bother you, bro?

SUTER: Hey, man. I already have my qualms about facing Datsyuk in practice everyday. What if he makes me look silly again?

CHICAGO

OK, the Hawks are two years removed from hoisting the Cup and have lethal firepower in the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.

Inking Parise and Suter would place a Chicago stranglehold on the Western Conference race, but …

PARISE: Chicago only has 7.7 million available under the cap for next season.

SUTER: Apparently GM Stan Bowman still hasn’t learned Microsoft Excel after his 2010 implosion. The Hawks decimated their roster and killed a budding dynasty by losing Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Antti Niemi …

PARISE: Wait … why are you talking like a writer?

SUTER: Because this whole thing is fiction.

PARISE: Oh, yeah. Right.

MINNESOTA

Oh, the Wild. Their longest playoff run culminated in a one-goal-in-four-games joke vs. Anaheim in the 2003 Conference Finals. But that’s where Zach and Ryan are heading.

How did this happen?

PARISE: Mommy and daddy want me to go home.

SUTER: My wife’s mommy and daddy want her to go home.

PARISE: To Minnesota?

SUTER: To Minnesota!

** **

So there it is.

The Lakers bailed Minneapolis and won a title in Los Angeles.

The North Stars bailed the Twin Cities and won a title in Dallas.

And Kevin Garnett bailed town and won a title in Boston.

So here’s the most viable options for Zach and Ryan: A.) Bail town like Marian Gaborik, or, B.) Enter the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis, because that’s your only chance of winning in Minneapolis.


1. A fake one.

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