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Suter’s agent responds to critics of his client

- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Zach Parise needed at least another night of sleep before picking a team to play for next season.

Parise said Tuesday that he hadn't made a decision and doesn't have a timetable for one soon after landing in his home state at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

"I'm back here to talk with my family and make sure that we've done all the work that we need to do make sure we make the right decision," Parise told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Parise is not meeting with any teams Tuesday, one of his agents, Wade Arnott, told The Associated Press.

The New Jersey Devils want their top forward available to re-sign while Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit and Minnesota are among the teams that are trying to lure him away.

Ryan Suter's agent, Neil Sheehy, told the AP that his client would not choose a team to play for on Tuesday.

Parise said he has been looking at where he wants to live, where he'll be happy and what team he wants to play for since hitting the market Sunday. And, he's looking forward to being done with the process.

"It's been a stressful couple days," Parise told the Star Tribune.

Suter, the top defenseman available, and Parise went into Day 3 of NHL free agency with teams and fans waiting for at least one of them to make a decision.

"When a young man is asked to commit for 13 years, why is it considered extraordinary to take a few days to make a decision?" Sheehy wrote in an email. "A deal will happen when it happens."

The two free agents are both 27 and each has been with only one team during their seven-season careers. Suter has played for the Nashville Predators, who are hoping for a quick answer from him so that they can move onto Plan B if necessary. The Predators aren't alone.

Second-tier free agents such as defenseman Matt Carle and forward Alexander Semin seem to be waiting for Suter and Praise to sign so that they can offer their talents to teams that don't get a top target.

Some players, however, have jumped at chances to re-sign or sign in the opening three days of free agency.

Colorado kept defenseman Erik Johnson thanks to a $15 million, four-year deal, New Jersey retained defenseman Bryce Salvador with a $9.5 million, three-year contract and 40-year-old forward Jaromir Jagr signed a $4.55 million, one-year deal with Dallas.

Jiri Hudler signed a $16 million, four-year contract with Calgary _ getting much more than Detroit offered to keep him _ and former Flames forward Olli Jokinen left to play in Winnipeg on a $9 million, two-year contract on Monday.

There were a flurry of signings Sunday _ Day 1 of NHL free agency _ including forward P.A. Parenteau leaving the New York Islanders for a $16 million, four-year contract with the Avalanche and 40-year-old forward Ray Whitney getting a $9 million, two-year deal from the Stars.

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/larrylage

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