ST. PAUL, Minn - To hockey fans, St. Paul is certainly celebrated as the land of the "free agents" this 4th of July.
Larry Anderson came to Tom Reid's Hockey City pub to celebrate the signing of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
"Some fantastic news in a pretty bleak sports town right now. I think it's the best thing that happened since the Twins won the World Series," said Anderson, a season ticket holder. "I can't wait for the season to start. Even though its 100 degrees out, I wish they were dropping the puck right now."
Tom Reid, a radio announcer for the Wild, says the historic signing of Parise, a Minnesota native, and Suter will change the identity of the Wild.
"It kind of sent chills down my spine, and it actually brought tears to my eyes because I think this is a great step for Minnesota, and for the hockey community, and for the fans who have been on pins and needles for the last week, wondering what is going on," said Reid.
Thanks to the fans, the phones at the Wild ticket offices lit up like fireworks after the announcement.
Matt Sayre and a dozen co-workers rushed in, selling around 500 season tickets in the first hour, with some packages already starting to sell out.
"It's supposed to be a vacation day, but it's the best 4th of July ever," he said to a caller purchasing tickets.
"It's been one for the ages. In the middle of July, it snowballed and it just hasn't stopped, and shows no signs of stopping," said Matt Majka, the Wild's Chief Operating Officer.
For Wild staff, it's also an unprecedented day at the presses. Employees also came in to print new jerseys, which will go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Hockey Lodge at Xcel Energy Center, along with the Wild stores in Burnsville and Maplewood.
"Parise will be No. 11, Suter will be No. 20, they will be available on Thursday in the Hockey Lodge if you get there quick enough," said Majka, the Wild's Chief Operating Officer. Majka says stores will also be taking pre-orders.
Reid is a longtime Parise family friend who believes Zach wanted to build a home in Minnesota as his father, J.P. Parise did. Reid played with J.P. Parise on the North Stars team back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
"It's that Midwest feeling that a lot of players really enjoy. They're not looking for the big lights for the glamour. They just want to help this team win hockey games, and he certainly will help us do that," said Reid.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)