NHL Trade Ideas: What Could the Penguins Offer for Zach Parise?

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIIJanuary 1, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 31:  Tyler Kennedy #48 of the Pittsburgh Penguins has the puck taken away by Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils in the second period of an NHL hockey game at Prudential Center on December 31, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins recently announced that Sidney Crosby's status has not changed. If he continues to be unable to play, the Pens will probably have to make a move to acquire a scorer for the stretch and the playoffs.

A team that doesn't really have a shot to win the Stanley Cup is the New Jersey Devils. The Devils may be willing to sell off star forward Zach Parise.

He has a huge cap hit at $6 million and the only way the Penguins will be able to acquire him is if it's certain that Crosby won't return because that means they'll have at least a significant amount of money, which would've been Crosby's cap hit, that they can take on during a deadline acquisition.

Adding Parise will probably be a realistic option since he becomes an unrestricted free agent this coming summer. The Penguins have plenty of great young players that have stepped up during Crosby's absence, so they definitely have some pieces they can trade away.

Aside from some draft picks, the Penguins can ship defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who has gained a plethora of experience by manning the Pens' blue line this season and last season. The Pens can also offer minor league goaltender Brad Thiessen, who has been playing extremely well in the AHL for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Last season, Thiessen had a 35-8 record for the Baby Penguins, posting a 1.94 GAA and a .922 save percentage. This season, his numbers aren't as spectacular, but considering Martin Brodeur is approaching the end of his career for the Devils, there is no doubt that New Jersey is probably looking for a permanent starting goalie for the future.

Also, because the Penguins are locked into Marc-Andre Fleury and he is their franchise goaltender, trading Thiessen is a great option. He's going to be an NHL starter one day and it doesn't make sense for him to stunt his own development as a backup.

A trade featuring Thiessen, Lovejoy, and a mid-round draft pick for Parise might actually work. Parise will bring more potency on the wings for the Penguins and his productivity will increase if he's surrounded by great offensive players like Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.

The only question remains if the Devils will be willing to rebuild. It makes sense for them because if Parise becomes a free agent and leaves, the Devils get nothing in return.

Stay tuned, folks. If Crosby's health does not improve and the trade deadline nears, watch for the Penguins to try to make a move.