There has been speculation over the past few weeks that GM Lou Lamoriello would be willing to part with his star before the February 27 deadline.
According to Mark Everson at The New York Post, a number of teams around the league made inquiries into the availability of Parise, but were rebuffed by Lamoriello.
Fortunately for Devils fans, it looks like their captain will be sticking around until at least the offseason.
It may not be much longer than though, according to Everson’s piece.
He found that if New Jersey decides to make the boneheaded call of not re-signing Parise, they’d try and trade his rights to a team that could get a jump-start on negotiations for his contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
This shouldn’t even be an issue, but the highly-publicized ownership crisis of the Devils may be an underlying factor in why the team won’t just sign the American-born winger to a massive deal to finish his career.
His value to the franchise cannot be understated.
In 56 games this season, he’s scored 21 goals and has 28 assists, but that’s not the true measure of his worth.
Just ask Devils’ stalwart Martin Brodeur.
He told The Star-Ledger:
He's got to stay here. That's the bottom line. That's how we're going to know how good he is as a captain.
I had no doubt he was the best suited for [being named captain]. It's well-deserved. He's huge for our organization and I think he's grown to be a prominent player and a prominent figure in our locker room. I think it's a wise decision for him where he's at in his career. You have to be a guy that wants it. I think he really wants to be the best player and he that guy. That's great for us.
Parise is the face of the organization and must be retained.
If Marty—an absolute legend in the team's and sport's history—is admitting it, they must listen.