NHL Toronto Maple Leafs: Zach Parise Is Team's New Brad Richards

John WhiteContributor IIAugust 1, 2011

A young Zach Parise
A young Zach Parise

With news that Zach Parise has signed a one-year deal with the New Jersey Devils, there are already rumours that the Leafs will sign him should he hit the free agent market next summer. Much like Brad Richards, Parise is expected to be the biggest name on the market next summer, unless he re-signs with New Jersey. The Devils' cap trouble since signing Ilya Kovalchuk make Parise becoming a free agent a definite possibility.

A picture of a young Parise, as seen above, wearing a Maple Leafs hat has given fans hope that he could sign for his childhood team next summer. While there is a lot of time and hockey before next years free agency, the hope that Parise will be the next star the Leafs get will get tiring very quick. 

Parise is a star player, and fits Toronto's need of a first liner to play alongside Phil Kessel. But just because he fits a need, doesn't mean Parise will be donning the blue and white anytime soon.

While he would be a great addition, in reality, if Parise actually hits the open market, there will likely be 29 other teams just as interested as Toronto.

If the Richards situation should teach us anything it is that we shouldn't get get too carried away with ourselves. Unfortunately, until Parise re-signs with New Jersey or actually becomes a free agent, Leafs fans can expect a number of articles and reports about Parise becoming a Leaf.  But that comes with being a fan in a city like Toronto.