2012 NHL Free Agents: Zach Parise and Biggest Difference-Makers on the Market

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IApril 9, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Anaheim Ducks  at the Prudential Center on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The upcoming free-agent market offers plenty of players that can come in and make a huge impact. The following three guys will all be prized acquisitions. 

In the right setting, they are talented enough to be the missing piece to push a team over-the-top and contend for a Stanley Cup. 

Here are three players that will be difference-makers next season. 

Zach Parise, Left Wing

At 27, Parise is in the prime of his career, and he already has a nice track record of success on his resume. 

Parise has played seven seasons in the NHL. In all but two of those, he has scored at least 30 goals and 60 points. The only two he did not were his rookie season, and the '10-11 season where he only played 13 games. 

There isn't a team in the league that wouldn't like to bring in this kind of production. The Devils would love to bring him back, but Parise may be tempted to bolt for a team in a better position to win the Stanley Cup. 

Ryan Suter, Defenseman

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 29:  Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators skates with the puck against Team Alfredsson during the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place on January 29, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Ge
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Suter is legitimate No. 1 defenseman, and, at 27, he has plenty of minutes left in his legs. He is capable of taking on any team's No. 1 offensive option and shutting him down, but his value is not relegated to the defensive side.

He is extremely capable on offense, and is lethal on the power play.

There is no doubt that the Predators would love to bring him back, but that may not be realistic. They also have to deal with the expired contract of restricted free agent Shea Weber. 

This could lead to Suter hitting the open market, and make whichever team he goes to extremely happy.

Dennis Wideman, Defenseman

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27:  Dennis Wideman #6 of the Washington Capitals looks to pass against the Buffalo Sabres at the Verizon Center on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

This 29-year-old defenseman is a pivotal part of the Capitals' back line. He is rock solid on the defensive side of things, and even more effective when he has the puck on his stick. 

Wideman is a master on the power play. He creates endless opportunities for his teammates when he is on the point. 

He is a good presence and a hard worker. He is a valuable glue guy for any team's back line.