As the February 27th NHL trade deadline approaches, general managers all around the league are trying to decide whether they should be buyers or sellers.
However, in the trade rumor world, your position in the standings is all irrelevant.
Parise will undoubtedly be the hottest commodity in the league if he hits the open market this offseason. With ownership debts looming in New Jersey, many doubt that the Devils can commit to the 27-year-old forward long-term.
Whether he remains with the Devils past this season remains to be seen.
One thing I can guarantee, though, is that he will not be traded.
Lou Lamoriello's track record does not include trading a single potential unrestricted free agent during the regular season. Brian Rafalski, Paul Martin, Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez, among others, are all relatively recent examples of just that. One may argue that during those years that these selected players were unrestricted free agents, the Devils were legitimate playoff contenders, and losing them before the playoffs would diminish their chances at winning the Stanley Cup.
Though, who's to say the present Devils are not contenders? Yes, they are currently on the bubble, but once you get in, you have as good a chance to win as anyone else.
Trading potential unrestricted free agents midseason is not how Lamoriello operates.
So why would he start changing his ways now?
He has clearly been doing something right during his time as general manager of the Devils thus far—he's been the catalyst in bringing three Stanley Cups to a franchise once deemed a "Mickey Mouse Organization" by Wayne Gretzky.
Even if the Devils were to drastically fall out of a playoff position, a trade involving Parise seems very unlikely, unless an absolutely irresistible package that makes Lamoriello's jaw drop comes along.