He was a restricted free agent meaning Detroit only had to offer him a qualifying offer that he could accept or fight through arbitration. They obviously recognized his value and gave him a little raise.
Being an RFA no other team could have given him an offer. The best they could have done was tried to poach him with an offer sheet, which Detroit would have been given the opportunity to match or receive compensation for had they opted not to.
Supposedly the Wings are tops of Suter’s wish-list, but it’s entirely probable that someone throws way too much money at him. It is the way of free agency, after all.
They’ve currently got a lot of cap space, though, and looking at their defense right now (Kronwall, Ericsson, White, Kindl, Smith and RFA Kyle), they’re going to have to do something to shore it up. The free agent class is pretty weak, so barring a trade Suter is their best option. If they don’t get him the other options aren’t nearly as exciting… Dennis Wideman and Jason Garrison head the list and quickly drop off to guys like Filip Kuba, Bryce Salvador and Sheldon Souray.
As to Parise, it’s just a personal hunch but you’re probably right. Detroit has 12 forwards signed and still have Abdelkader a pending RFA, and Hudler and Holmstrom (is he retiring?) as UFAs. Even without re-signing the two UFAs they’ve got a pretty solid top 9.