NHL Free Agency 2012: Why Zach Parise's Best Bet Is to Stay with the Devils

Amy StreiferCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 09: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils reacts after scoring a goal in the first period against Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings during Game Five of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on June 9, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Zach Parise is one of the most sought-after free agents in the market this season. The 27-year-old left winger from Minnesota has speed, agility and a knack for scoring incredible goals. Parise has scored 30 goals or more in five of the last six seasons. During the 2010-2011 season, Parise suffered an injury and was held to only three goals and three assists in 13 games played.

This past year, he has proved that he's back on track, healthy and one of the best in the league. Parise and the Devils made it to the final round of the NHL Stanley Cup this past postseason but were eliminated by the Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings

After the New Jersey Devils dismal 2010-2011 season where they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996, many wondered where Parise would end up, and some assumed he would be leaving New Jersey. However on July 27, 2011, Parise signed a one-year $6 million contract with the Devils. 

Parise might decide to go to the Penguins, Flyers, Wild or Red Wings, all of which are teams that have been showing interest as of late. But it might be his best bet to sign a new contract with the Devils.

New Jersey is the only team that the Devils captain has played for, and in his seven years with the team he has been in the postseason six times. He also represented the Devils and his country when he tied the game for the USA with 24 seconds left in the championship game against Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Parise has a huge fan base in Jersey and even has a Facebook page with fans begging for him to stay with the Devils. With Martin Brodeur signing a two-year $9 million contract (via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News), it might give Parise some confidence that his team will continue to be successful. 

If the Devils can offer Parise the money he desires, then it will be in his best interest to sign with the team that drafted him 17th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Parise is undeniably an All-Star, and the Devils organization is probably hoping right now that they have what it takes to keep him for a long time.