Despite playing for the rival New Jersey Devils and possibly not wanting to upset the current family, free agent Zach Parise has made the foolish move of saying that he is not going to sign with the New York Rangers.
Parise told the media after the Stanley Cup Final in one word that he was not going to New York. Simply put, Parise just said "no."
On Sunday, the New York Post reported that the Rangers are desperate to find more offense, and general manager Glen Sather has said the team is going to be aggressive in free agency.
“The closer to the top you are, you have to be a little more aggressive if you want to get better. If you trade, you have to give away assets, but in free agency you’re just giving away money and [taking] the chance the cap might shrink.
“I think we’re going to try to be as aggressive as possible in the free agent market.”
While that is not a ringing endorsement to say the Rangers are definitively going to make a play for Parise, he is making a mistake coming out and telling everyone that he has no plans to sign with them.
Forget the fact that it is the Rangers. No free agent should ever come out and dismiss any team. What happens if the team comes in with an offer that is too good to refuse?
Even if Parise doesn't end up signing with the team making the offer, dismissing any team that is going to make a play for your services is going to make you look bad to outside observers when they see that there is an offer on the table.
We see some players in other sports try this tactic, and it doesn't mean anything to the team. They are going to go after who they want, and if the player says no to the offer, that is their right.
Plus, by dismissing a team, you are hurting your own market value. Even if you truly don't have aspirations of signing with a team, the least you can do is market yourself to drive up the price for another team.
Maybe Parise is so set in his ways in New Jersey that he will take whatever offer comes his way. But in sports, there are precious few moments where you have to be rewarded for your services. This is Parise's moment, and he has already softened his potential market by eliminating a team that would have been happy to make a significant offer for him.