It’s a concept that’s discussed frequently amongst fans: players will take less to play on the same team as their friend(s).

Heck, over the last few weeks, much of the speculation surrounding free agent Zach Parise was that his friendship with Sidney Crosby might be the “in” the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to land the winger.

But this morning, there’s a decidedly different tune being sung, and one that seems to make a lot of sense.

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, both Parise and close friend Ryan Suter are expected to announce their decisions today.

Suter’s agent confirmed via Twitter that he would announce a decision today, thought there has been no official word yet from the Parise camp regarding a decision timeline.

So, now, back to the topic at hand: the big discussion of the morning.

Various reports have surfaced that suggest the drawn out decision from these two top-notch free agents could be a result of them trying to sign with the same team.

Could it be the classic “I’ll take less to pay with a friend?”

All indications are pointing that way.

For starters, both are from the same general area — Parise from Minnesota and Suter from Wisconsin — and they are long-time friends from their international hockey histories.

Additionally, all indications over the last month were that the Minnesota Wild would push hard to sign both, with a report surfacing that quoted the Wild’s owner telling his general manager that if either player signs with another team it would be for less money. In other words, the Wild have the cash to spend and they shouldn’t lose out on these stars as a result of lowball offers.

Lastly, add in that, all of a sudden there is strong word that both will announce their decisions today, and it sure seems they’re headed to the same destination: Minnesota.

And, really, it makes sense.

Who wouldn’t want to play close to home? Who wouldn’t want to spend the rest of his career with a longtime close friend? And who wouldn’t want to be part of the foundation that helps to transition an average team into, potentially, a Stanley Cup contender over the next few years?

While it’s possible the timing of their decisions is purely coincidental, it seems too perfect not to be true.

Fortunately, the waiting game is coming to an end one way or another…