The original 82-game schedule for the 2012-13 NHL season had more of these reunions lined up for Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
The Wild's two big free-agent acquisitions spurned offers from their old teams (Nashville and New Jersey) to join up in Minnesota last July 4, and had there been a full NHL season, both Parise and Suter would have played in their former home arenas by Dec. 1.
Instead, the NHL lockout and the ensuing 48-game season cut down the number of awkward moments for both players. Parise won't go to New Jersey at all, since the Wild only play Western Conference teams in the abbreviated season, and Suter won't go to Nashville until March 9.
He will, however, face his old team Tuesday night, Jan. 22, getting the first matchup with the Predators in his third game with Minnesota.
Suter's departure from Nashville was arguably more acrimonious than Parise's exit from New Jersey.
Predators general manager David Poile said July 4 that Suter told him the previous November he would return to Nashville, adding that Suter never gave him a chance to match the Wild's $98 million contract.
Two days later, Poile said he couldn't understand why Suter wouldn't want to stay in Nashville and play with Norris Trophy finalist Shea Weber, even though Suter is from Madison, Wis., and his wife Becky is from Bloomington.
Ryan Suter faces former team for first time
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Jan 22