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There's a lot of factors in play here for New Jersey Devils' star Zach Parise.
First, there's the awkward situation with arbitration this past summer. The Devils were barely able to avoid going to arbitration with Parise, signing him to a one-year extension worth $6 million.
The Ilya Kovalchuk deal adds another interesting dynamic. With him locked up for life, virtually, the Devils are stuck in a rut. They can't really afford to pay Parise similar money, when he certainly deserves it, and still expect to fill out the roster with a competitive bunch.
Then there's the captaincy issue. The Devils just named Parise their captain for this 2011-12 season. Is that a sign they have every intention of extending him longer in New Jersey? Depending on how the Devils are doing, the other option would be to trade him at the deadline, but him being named captain adds an interesting dynamic to the entire situation.
Next, the injury situation for Parise was a tough one last year. Limited to only 13 games, he suffered a knee injury that set him back drastically. When he finally came back at the end of last season, he missed the last four regular season games with knee problems again.
Although he looks good at the start of the season, he badly needs a comeback season for the Devils or any other team to justify spending big money on this pending free agent.