Representatives from the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota Wild met Tuesday with coveted unrestricted free agent defenseman Ryan Suter, according to reports.
The Red Wings’ contingent that met with the former University of Wisconsin athlete included owner Mike Ilitch, general manager Ken Holland and adviser Chris Chelios, who flew to Madison on Ilitch’s private plane, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Detroit is offering $90 million to Suter over 13 years, according to the newspaper.
Chelios, also an ex-UW defenseman, played with Suter’s uncle, Gary, with the Chicago Blackhawks before playing nine seasons with the Red Wings. Chelios and Gary Suter entered the USA Hockey Hall of Fame together last fall.
Detroit wasn’t the only team to visit Suter on Tuesday.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Minnesota Wild also flew representatives to Madison to make a pitch for Suter, who has played his entire seven-year career with Nashville.
“Owner Craig Leipold, GM Chuck Fletcher & coach Mike Yeo just landed from Madison,” Star Tribune hockey writer Michael Russo posted on his Twitter account. “Agent Neil Sheehy was also on the flight. Wild clearly picked up Sheehy in Intl Falls and gave him lift to Madison for both mtgs.”
The Star-Tribune reported that Suter's financial advisor, former UW athlete Tom Sagissor, also was on the flight.
Leipold, a Neenah native who lives in Racine, owned the Predators when the franchise drafted Suter.
The Wild also is pursuing free agent Zach Parise, who is reportedly soliciting offers of $100 million or more. Citing sources close to the situation, the newspaper reported that Parise wanted to talk to Suter before making a decision, and was poised to do so Tuesday night.
Other suitors for Suter include Philadelphia and Nashville. Suter has been mulling a handful of megamillion-dollar contracts since free agency began at noon Sunday.
Sheehy said his client will take the time needed to make the right decision.
“For a young man who is looking to commit to 13 years, I find it strange that people expect him to make a decision within hours or days. Everything needs to be carefully considered,” Sheehy told The Associated Press.