NHL Trade Speculation: Zach Parise to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Could It Happen?

Jeff Langridge@@JeffLangridge1Correspondent IIIAugust 2, 2011

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 23:  Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Prudential Center on March 23, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Well, it was only a matter of time before one of these articles was written, so I thought I would get it started.

Zach Parise recently signed a one-year deal with the New Jersey Devils. That is sure to cause rumors that he will be traded before the season is over if the Devils are not in the playoff race. Of course, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be in the center of those rumors.

The question is: What will it take to trade for him?

The Leafs could just hope that New Jersey fails to re-sign Parise to a long-term contract and he reaches free agency, but as we saw with Brad Richards, that scenario comes with risk (and high cost). Therefore, if the Leafs really want Parise, they will have to trade for him.

The Leafs are going to have to give up high draft picks and a few prospects because of New Jersey's cap. Also, the deal would have to be a sign-and-trade, because Brian Burke is not going to give up the future for a player who will only play a small part of the season for the Leafs.

Now I believe the Leafs can acquire without giving up a top prospect such as Joe Colborne, Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, or Jesse Blacker. Here's my trade proposal.

To Toronto: Zack Parise and New Jersey's third-round pick in 2012

To New Jersey: Toronto's first-round pick in 2012, second-round pick in 2013, Tyler Bozak, Carl Gunnarsson, Jerry D'Amigo, Jussi Rynnas

Toronto acquires an elite player that will make its first-line even better and recoup a pick from the ones we send to New Jersey. The Devils get a good high draft pick in the next two drafts, additional depth down the middle, and a defenseman who can potentially grow alongside Adam Larsson. They also acquire two quality prospects in D'Amigo and Rynnas. D'Amigo could potentially replace Parise one day, and Rynnas could be the answer to New Jersey's goaltending question after next season.

Then again, it's also a long shot that Parise gets traded because New Jersey will most likely be in a battle for the playoffs and won't be interested in sending one of their star players to a fellow contender. However, if the unforeseen happens and New Jersey struggles once again, the odds will go up substantially.

I know a lot of people will say the Leaf's need a No.1 center before a star left winger. My opinion is that they have Tim Connolly for two years and we should see how that works out. If you were Brian Burke, would you give up the opportunity to have a first line of Connolly centering Parise and Phil Kessel just because you need a better No. 1 center more. Is that a no? Yeah, thought so.

Will the Leafs attempt to trade for Parise, or will they try their luck in the hope that he reaches free agency?