More than six months ago, with #PariseWatch and #SuterWatch trending toward Twitter overload, Wild fans were steered through four days of twists and turns in NHL free agency.

The tension came to an abrupt stop July 4 when the team signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to identical 13-year, $98 million contracts. Then all the Wild's summertime momentum was eventually doused by an NHL lockout, creating a tense four-month wait.

And that long wait is over. Parise and Suter will slip on Iron Range-red jerseys for the first time and make their Wild debuts against Colorado on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center, in a fitting end to Hockey Day Minnesota.

"It's been a long time of nothing since all that excitement, and now that we're finally here, it's kind of surreal," said Suter. "I just got goose bumps thinking about walking down that tunnel.

"This is where we can hopefully spend the rest of our careers and have a lot of success. It's the first of many games. Finally."

Thanks to the addition of Parise and Suter, there have been grandiose predictions.

Barry Melrose of ESPN and the NHL Network picked the Wild to win the Stanley Cup.

"This team doesn't need a savior," Parise said. "Ryan and I can only help a team with already really good players and a really, really bright future."