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New Jersey Devils: Why the Team Will Be Successful Without Zach Parise

ST PAUL, MN - JULY 9: Craig Leipold, owner of the Minnesota Wild poses for pictures with Zach Parise #11 during a press conference on July 9, 2012 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Amy StreiferCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2012

Zach Parise is undoubtedly one of the biggest losses the New Jersey Devils have ever faced. Parise made a tough decision to sign with the Minnesota Wild for 13 years and $98 million.

Ryan Suter signed an identical contract, making the Wild a contender and a powerful force in the league.

When Parise was injured during the 2010-2011 season, the Devils failed to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1995-1996 season. Even though it was a dismal year, the Devils came back with a vengeance this season and made it all to the way to the Stanley Cup finals.

Some may say that the Devils didn't make the playoffs because Parise was hurt, but the time without Parise gave the team some time to mesh together and play better for the 2011-2012 season.

Next year, the Devils have a strong team with many aspects that will continue to make them contenders.

They have re-signed their surprisingly successful fourth line in Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta. Arguably the best goaltender of all time, Martin Brodeur, has also signed a two-year, $9 million contract extension, ensuring that there will be talent in front of the net.

Offensive threats Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique, David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus will all be back next season. Andy Greene, Anton Volchenkov and Bryce Salvador will provide the Devils with defense that helped them conquer the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.

Yes, the loss of Parise is huge. He was the captain of the Devils and he was one of the most influential players on the team. Parise was also a fan favorite.

However, the Devils have the pieces to the puzzle that they need to continue to succeed. I mean, we're talking about a team that has won three Stanley Cup since 1995, so success is what the New Jersey team strives for.

In the offseason, the Devils have also brought right-winger Krystopher Barch over from the Florida Panthers. His statistics are mediocre at best with two goals, five points and 91 penalty minutes in 51 games, but he is a tough player and a fighter who brings enthusiasm and velocity to the ice.

During his career, Barch has accumulated 669 penalty minutes in 304 career NHL games. His contract is for two years and $1.5 million.

Truth be told, this might be a blessing in disguise for the Devils. It will train them to live without their bright-eyed superstar. Parise will always be remembered in New Jersey for the influence he had on the franchise, but the Devils are still a threat in the league without him.

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