Zach Parise's Delay in Signing a Contract Delays 2012 NHL Free Agency

Eric SteitzAnalyst IIIJuly 2, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23:  Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils controls the puck in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 23, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Zach Parise is the biggest name on the 2012 NHL free-agent market.

According to Dan Rosen of, the star winger has already received lengthy offers from Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago and Carolina, though Parise has also stated that the New Jersey Devils are not out of the running.

The problem with all this is not that Parise is taking his time, but rather that he is, unfortunately, delaying the rest of the league's free-agent proceedings. 

Consider that Ryan Suter probably won't sign until he sees what Zach Parise does. Whether the reason for this is monetary or simply to see if the star defenseman can sign with the same team, I'm not sure.

Parise waits and so Suter waits. At least a half dozen teams are also waiting, including the teams listed above and probably more.

It's not just these two guys either. Teams don't know if they are picking up a big gun in Suter and Parise, so they can't make offers to the other big names that are on the trading block.

Big names like Anaheim's Bobby Ryan or Rick Nash in Columbus—you can't make a deal if you don't know how much salary-cap space you have, or if you even need to make a deal. So now we have Suter, Parise, Ryan and Nash waiting, and the list of teams that are waiting grows as well.

Then you add the other big names that are free agents to the list.

Matt Carle, a defenseman who played well in Philadelphia, could be waiting to see how much money Suter gets somewhere.

Alexander Semin has the fourth best plus/minus rating in the league for the last four seasons and has the talent to be a top-line guy. He could be waiting for Ryan or Nash to be moved. But those two are waiting on Parise. Ugh.

As fans and writers, we aren't the only ones frustrated. Nashville general manager David Poile is frusterated too.

“I’m trying to say in the best way I can, if I have any ability, I’d like to resolve this sooner than later, because there are other directions to go and we’re running out of options. We may not be able to affect that, but I need to do that,” Poile said, via Josh Cooper and The Tennesseean.

You also have talented guys out there, like Olli Jokinen, who are also waiting. And I don't even dare bring up the details of the pending collective bargaining agreement talks.

The NHL free-agent frenzy has slowed to a crawl and all that the hockey world can do is wait... and wait...and wait.