Zach Parise is kind of like our version of LeBron James, only in reverse. After making a name for himself in the Big Apple (well, really New Jersey), he took his talents back home and got paid handsomely for it. When Parise and Ryan Suter agreed to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts with the Wild last summer, the State of Hockey's pro franchise instantly became more relevant than it had been since ... well, ever. And though 2012 drew to a close with the NHL still in the midst of a dispiriting labor dispute, the well-spoken and good-looking Parise quickly established himself as the Wild's leader both on and off the ice once the 2013 season began. The early returns have been good — the Wild seem poised to make the playoffs for the first time in five years, and guess what? They might even win their first series in a decade. So far, so good, as far as $100 million homecomings go.