ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - The emails didn't stop coming in. Neither did the calls. KFAN's Common Man program was extremely busy the day after the Minnesota Wild signed hometown hero Zach Parise and defensemen Ryan Suter on the Fourth of July.
Dan "Common Man" Cole's producer Brandon Mileski is the station's elite hockey mind. We asked him if this double-inking was really that big of a deal. "Suter is already the best defenseman in franchise history and Parise I think eventually will be the best forward in franchise history," he remarked during a quick break.
Mileski says the fans should be happy. "You should be excited because this is a team that's going to be good for a long time and I'm convinced of that," he said, before adding the Stanley Cup Finals wouldn't be out of the question in a few years.
Across town, Mike Van Massenhove was equally busy dealing with an enormous rush of phone calls. "I hang up the phone and it starts ringing again," the Wild ticket salesman remarked. "Last week when I was calling them, they didn't want to talk to me. Now they'll call me three times in a row just to get a hold of me," he said. The Wild had signed up more than 1,000 season ticket holders since the free agent signing news went public.
You could even see the excitement on the floor level of the Xcel Energy Center where two women were feverishly working the presses, numbering and lettering Parise jerseys. Upstairs, sales were far outpacing their ability to keep up. More than 120 orders had come in... in about 12 hours.
"I'm getting both," Staff Sergeant Jason Keeton said inside the team store upstairs. Keeton wanted a Parise jersey for himself and a Suter jersey for his wife. "I was like a little schoolgirl yesterday when the news came out. I'm serious. I think I was fist pumping for about an hour!" he exclaimed.
More than 24 hours after the news broke, hockey fans in the state of hockey were still going wild. The fireworks never ended.
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