There are some superstars who come with baggage. Players who have the talent but don't always bring it every night.
There are other stars who give everything they have, but they aren't at the highest talent level.
Then there's Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils. He is a major talent who brings it on an every-night basis. He's got all the skills and is excellent at all the measurable aspects of the game, but he's not satisfied. He wants to get better.
That's why Parise, who has scored at least 30 goals in five consecutive seasons when healthy, is among the most respected and admired free agents in recent years. When general managers look at Parise, they know their team would improve if he was added to the roster.
As free agency is about to begin, three serious teams appear to be in contention for Parise. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild and the Detroit Red Wings all have the inclination (read cash) and the sales pitch to make their teams appeal to Parise. The Devils will make a push to retain Parise, but they may fall short when the final decision is made.