Zach Parise is currently set to become one of the most sought after free agents in recent memory. He is a young, talented goal scoring forward you can build a team around. He has bounced back from injury and appears to be at the top of his game. He has the potential to be "that final piece" for a playoff-contending team in order to put them over the top.
However it is looking more and more unlikely that Parise will remain a Devil after this season, according to a recent article in the Star-Ledger:
Parise told The Star-Ledger today that money will be a significant consideration when negotiations for a new contract begin, but his feeling about whether the Devils have a legitimate chance to eventually win a Stanley Cup will probably be the overriding factor.
“For me that’s probably the biggest thing,” Parise said. “The money is definitely important. That’s real life, let’s face it. I’m not going to say it’s not. That’s realistic. But most important for me is being competitive and having a chance to win the Stanley Cup.”
Parise and his agent, Wade Arnott, both confirmed today that there have been no negotiations on a new deal yet with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello.
“Nothing new to report and nothing in the near future,” Arnott said.
The money element presents a major problem for the Devils.
This offseason, the Devils will have $25,170,834 of free cap space to sign 11 players. Here is just a list of players the Devils will need to retain or replace.
In addition to Parise, who would likely garner a raise, the Devils would have about $17,670,834 to re-sign or replace the following key names and five others.
- Martin Brodeur
- Johan Hedberg
- Bryce Salvador
- Kurtis Foster
- Mark Fayne
In addition to that, the Devils will have eight additional players to re-sign the following year. While the Devils could probably find a way to make the deal work, adding another large contract would not be smart for a team on the verge of bankruptcy.
With that in mind let the trade rumors begin. The points to focus on are that Parise is going to look for a team that can pay him and has a good shot at winning a Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, New Jersey doesn't offer that and he could be traded at the deadline.
Tom Urtz, Jr. is an NHL featured columnist. For NHL news, updates and alerts about players: