The Detroit Red Wings have salary cap space to burn.
No, that's no typo.
In case you, the reader, have been living under a rock all hockey season, the Detroit Red Wings had about $5.7 million in cap space to spend at the start of this season.
But because contracts get paid off over the course of the season, teams can gradually begin to spend more than their actual cap space amount towards the latter parts of the season. CapGeek.com (as of today) says that Detroit can take on $16.7 million, and if they wait until the trade deadline before making a move, it would rise to $24.6 million.
Now clearly, the Red Wings are not going to go on a massive spending spree, as they are first in the Western Conference (given their star goaltender Jimmy Howard is out for another week or two with a broken finger) but this does not mean they can afford to stand pat as they have in years past.
They must make a move and make it quickly to stay on top of the Western Conference.
That move my friends, will not be trading for Zach Parise.
Here are six reasons why they will not trade for the New Jersey Devils' superstar.
At one point this season, the New Jersey Devils were in serious danger of missing the playoffs.
Martin Brodeur, who is having the worst statistical season of his career since his rookie campaign, has brought his team back into playoff contention as they currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference.
This makes unrestricted free agent-to-be, Zach Parise, even more valuable to his club right now.
New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello is no slouch (although his Ilya Kovalchuk signing a couple years back raised eyebrows) and trading for Zach Parise would be a terrible move by Detroit because of the compensation that they would need to give back to the Devils for this to happen.
To acquire Parise before the trade deadline, the Devils would likely ask for a top-six forward, a top-four defenseman, and a first and a second round pick in upcoming drafts.
This is way out of Detroit's price range, and Red Wings GM Ken Holland would likely have his sanity questioned if he made a move for Parise before the trade deadline.
Money, money, money.
That's the name of the game.
How much money can GMs throw (or how much are they prepared to throw) at superstar free agents to get them to come play for their team.
This situation is no different.
The Red Wings would acquire Zach Parise who is signed just until the end of this season, and then if they could not fit under the salary cap next year (whatever it ends up being), they would have a world of trouble in terms of trying to make pieces fit.
Parise makes $6 million this year after being a restricted free agent just last off-season.
This season, Parise does not have to take "no" for an answer in terms of more money.
He will likely make somewhere in the over-inflated neighborhood of $7.5 million per season, maybe with a front-end loaded deal.
If Detroit trades for Parise before the trade deadline, they would have to work on re-signing him before Free Agency begins on July 1, or effectively lose him (and the pieces they traded to get him for nothing).
Seeing as how Ken Holland is a smarter man than that, this will not be the case.
Zach Parise will likely not be signed by Detroit, given how deep their prospect pool is at forward.
With guys like Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, Calle Jarnkrok, and others, Detroit is virtually set for the future at the forward position.
Having said that, if Detroit manages to trade away any of those forwards, Parise would become a better option for Detroit.
If Detroit waited til the end of the regular season and worked out a deal to get negotiating rights with Parise before July 1, in exchange for some picks and/or prospects, they could sign Parise to a longer term deal that would benefit the franchise immediately on the top line.
Detroit has virtually no reason to trade for Parise now, but waiting until after the season is over would be a better call if they choose to seriously pursue Parise.
Despite the fact that he plays over 22 minutes per game, Parise is not a defenseman.
"So what?" you may ask.
Well if you've been watching the Red Wings on defense, you'll notice that a couple players are struggling on the back end for Detroit.
First, Jonathan Ericsson. The 27-year-old defenseman has struggled this season after signing a three-year deal worth $9.75 million (per CapGeek.com).
Ericsson has 31 giveaways and nine takeaways to go along with 9 points in 56 games. He is a plus-16, but 11 of that came in December.
Next, Jakub Kindl has been struggling to make the lineup on a consistent basis. He's played just 41 games this season, and has nine points, but he is still maturing and learning the position of an NHL defenseman at age 24.
Finally, Mike Commodore has had the most trouble getting on the ice regularly for Detroit.
Commodore has played just 17 games for Detroit this year, but is averaging a blocked shot and almost two hits per game. He will likely be a non-factor in the playoffs if Detroit goes out and acquires another defenseman via trade.
At any rate, back to the point, Parise is not a defenseman, and although I'm sure all sorts of Red Wings fans could make a case of why we need Parise, or why we should trade for Parise right now, the fact of the matter is that he is too much money for too little gain, and Detroit would be much better off getting another legitimate top four or top six defenseman instead of going after Parise.
The most pressure filled positions in Detroit sports are: Detroit Lions quarterback, Detroit Tigers closing pitcher, and Detroit Red Wings goaltender.
However, Conklin could find himself not playing in another NHL game after giving up three goals in the first period of last week's contest against the Oilers.
Conklin's numbers are ugly: 3-5-0 in 11 games played, with an 87.8 save percentage and a 3.40 GAA.
(I can almost hear former Red Wings goalie Roger Crozier giving Conklin a pat on the back for getting worse numbers than Crozier did back in the 1960s.
Long story short, Zach Parise scores goals. He does not keep them out with goalie equipment and he cannot play goalie.
While some Red Wings pundits may argue that that Parise does keep out goals with his defensive zone play, the fact is that there is nothing quite like a reliable back-up goaltender.
The Red Wings need a back-up goaltender much more than they "need" Parise.
"If it ain't broken, don't fix it."
You may have heard those words before, and it sure rings true with NHL trade ideas. GMs must evaluate their teams to see if they can actually handle a trade and what kind of a player the player is in the locker room before they commit to handing over almost everything they have to get said player.
Parise, although an excellent player, goal scorer, and dominant forward, does not belong in Detroit because of what would be an extra large contract next year, as well as the time and pieces that it would take to get Parise before the trade deadline.
The Detroit Red Wings have made practically nothing to do of the trade deadline in years past, but this one could turn out to be different if Red Wings' GM Ken Holland feels that it is in his best interest to make a trade.
Although we know nothing for sure, one thing that we can all be fairly confident on is that Ken Holland will not "sell the farm" to acquire Zach Parise when he doesn't even have a guarantee that Parise would play with Detroit past this season.
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