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Carolina’s offseason wishlist: Get Zach Parise

Apr 10, 2012, 9:31 AM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has an attack plan for this offseason that has their sights set on bringing in a big name to play alongside Eric Staal and with a dearth of top line talent available via free agency, Rutherford says he has big ideas as he tells Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer.

“Based on my conversation with Mr. Karmanos, we’ve talked about a top-line player,” Rutherford said. “He agrees that that’s something we want to do. Not what we’ve done in the past with free agents, where we go to the second-tier free-agent group, or the third tier or the fourth tier, but a top-line player. If it’s available by free agency or trade, we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen this year.”

The Hurricanes have never been a team to break the bank in free agency, but after their aggressive moves to re-sign Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason, taking aim on Parise in free agency would be a huge step in proving they’re for real.

Of course, the Hurricanes might have to compete with every other team in the NHL for Parise and while Rutherford says they’ve got the cash to make it happen, not to mention the long-time affinity for Parise that goes back to when he was drafted, it won’t be easy to fight off high-profile teams for him should he become a free agent on July 1.

Talking big is one thing, pulling off something big is another thing entirely. Signing guys like Alexei Ponikarovsky (for example) after you’ve talked big about guys like Parise can really bum the fans out.

  1. martysbetter - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Yeah Zach Parise, who has stated again and again how he wants to play for a winner — and who’s only gripe with being in New Jersey is the failure to make it past the first round of the playoffs these past few years, is going to sign with a basement-dwelling half-assed organization like the Former Hartford Whalers.

    Get real, the Former Hartford Whalers finished LAST in the WORST conference in the NHL – man, I bet they can just taste that cup in Carolina.

    • martysbetter - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      worst division*

    • lonespeed - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Carolina won the cup in 2006 and played for the cup in 2002. That’s far from bottom dwelling and is better in recent years than Zach Parise’s current team.

      Is it as steller as the Detroit Red Wings or the Pittsburg Penguins? No. But there are far worse teams in the past decade. In fact, Carolina has been one of the better teams in recent years during the second half of the season. It’s the first part of the season that has sunk them.

      There are teams going into next year with hope and without hope. Carolina certainly isn’t among those in the latter bucket.

      • Phil Young - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Also made the ECF’s in 2009… and didn’t they beat the Devils in ’06 and ’09 in the playoffs? I know they did in ’09 without looking it up. Carolina has solid young talent and they have Staal and Ward. What’s not to like for Parise? I’m not saying that Raleigh is the best place for him to go, but why wouldn’t it be on the list? As lonespeed said, Carolina’s problem from ’09-’10 through ’11-’12 has been awful starts to the year followed by a very competitive post January run. The same actually happened in ’08-’09 as well on the way to the ECF loss to the Pens.

        Cam Ward just needs more goal support or a little better defense in front of him and he’ll be ready when Carolina gets back into the playoffs.

    • slammincamnewton - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Wait, remind me again the last time the Devils won a cup or even appeared? Think Carolina has done it twice since. I think we got a Devils fan here who’s still pissed about those last second goals in 09. Brodeur sucks.

      • martysbetter - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        I guess when you finish last in the creampuff southeastern division all you have to dream about is free agents and past seasons this time of year.

        The Former Hartford Whalers didn’t even break .500 this year, real poised for a cup run I’d say.

      • slammincamnewton - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        Enjoy being swept by those lowly Panthers. Brodeur still sucks.

      • Phil Young - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        And I guess if you’re a Devils fan you better hurry up and get your trash talk out of the way before your team is eliminated next week.

      • danphipps01 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM

        Against who? The Panthers? They’re barely better than your godawful Hurricants. Hack teams from a hack division both. The Panthers will be lucky to buy a sixth game against New Jersey.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Call me crazy but the Hurricanes, you know that those bottom dweller former Whalers have won a Cup more recently than the Devils. Also have been to the Cup finals more times than the Devils have been in the past 10 years.

      Just sayin…

      • martysbetter - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Oh you mean that same Former Hartford Whalers team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 08-09?

  2. rainyday56 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    If Mike Gillis was a gambling man, he’d sign Parise and then trade Kes to the Wings for high draft picks. The gamble being the old Wings then plummet next season into lottery territory. S W E E T!

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      This makes no sense. The Canucks are left with one top six centre and the Wings add one of the league’s best two-way players without losing anything and fall from a top 10 team to a bottom 5 team?

  3. miketoasty - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Mr. Joe, can we please write stories about teams that actually have a chance at signing one of the biggest free agents to hit the market in the past couple of years (Being that he has leadership ability, tons of potential, and the skills to back all of that up).

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Minnesota will be driving the market up on Parise as they will be offering him a top dollar contract, not saying that means he will be signing in Minny or not but if Carolina really wants Parise, they better be willing to pay out $8 million per year (or so)

    I don’t see him going to the Canes but I won’t say it’s impossible. If he leaves NJ, I bet he goes to the West conf.

    • Phil Young - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      It’s going to be a heck of a bidding war. I’m sure Carolina would be willing to pay him a lot, maybe even 8 million, but if the price is driven really high like 9-10 million then I’m betting the Canes will be out.

      • Richard Phillips - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        8 million? Whoa, that’s Eric Staal type money. Is Parise that good?

      • danphipps01 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:21 PM

        Woah, woah, what? For Parise? Yes, he had a ninety-point run once, but he does NOT deserve Crosby salary. Eric Staal doesn’t deserve the contract he’s got, and he’s about on par with Parise at this point in their careers. Both are good, but realistically speaking, neither is worth more than an absolute limit of $7.5m. I wouldn’t go over seven for Parise.

      • Phil Young - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

        Hopefully not. but you see it in many of the other sports all the time. Owners get desperate and the price for a guy gets driven up. I don’t think he’s worth 9 million either but it also wouldn’t surprise me.

        If there is one thing I have learned about pro sports franchises.. it’s that they can’t help themselves when it comes to being reasonable.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      Chuck Fletcher (Wild GM) told a Minneapolis radio station the Wild have tons of cap room and they will go after 2 or 3 high end free agents. Like I have said all along, they will go after both Suter and Parise. The whole reason Nick Schultz was dealt to a division rival for Tom Gilbert who has played with both Suter and Parise.

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:31 PM

        @Phil Young… no chance Parise get’s paid 9-10 million per year. No one is worth that kind of money…. I would never pay anyone more than what Crosby / Malkin / Stamkos $8.-8.5 make

        @Richard Phillips, yes Parise is that good but will be getting over paid seeing as he is hitting FA. Parise’s real dollar value would be in the $7.00 million area

        @greatminnesotasportsmind . We have chatted about this before and there is no doubt CF will be throwing tons of cash at both Suter / Parise and then a few others if he feels those two won’t sign with the Wild. I think Fletchers job in Minny is saef for at least another year or two but we need to make the playoffs to get fans back in the seats and money in our owners wallet…. If we can bring in either free agent and have someone like Granlund / Coyle / Brodin ??? be in the Calder talk for next year, the Wild have a BRIGHT future!!!!!!!!

        Not too mention another top pick in this years draft. Galchenyuk / Forsberg / Murray if they fall, but I highly doubt that… so that leaves us with something like Reinhart / Faksa / Trouba / Dumba

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        Grandlund will for sure he here next year. Fletcher also said that 2 maybe 3 players will be here when the season starts. The others will be Houston, which will add depth top to bottom. So when Koivu, Latendresse (if he’s back), and Bouchard get hurt again, they won’t take a big step back.

        My guess is Granlund, Bulmer, and Coyle start the season here. Zucker, Brodin, etc get called up.

        If they are going to land Parise/Suter they are gonna have to sell the future hard. Do they want to be part of a team that has already peaked and will start their decent back down (think Oilers after their Finals run) or be part of a team that will only get better as they get older (think Penguins and Blackhawks a few years ago).

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM

        if Brodin doesn’t start the season off with the Wild, I assume he goes back to SWE and won’t play in a Wild sweater for another year. that’s if he doesn’t make the team and or can’t gain enough muscle this summer. He is NHL ready in talent but not size. He showed how great he is at WJC shutting down the top Russian line!!!!!!! Glad we took him :)

  5. Richard Phillips - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Rutherford’s replacements for Erik Cole were Ponikarovsky and Athony Stewart. Though the fit wouldn’t be bad. There’s a ton of young talent, two superstars and a beautiful city.

  6. mnem23 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    wait!! quick 10 year time horizon to count 2002, but not 2000 or 2001!!

    What a joke to randomly cut off history at 2002 and discount important facts from just a year prior. nothing like omitting information in your argument.

    • Phil Young - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Well in the last ten seasons they each have one Cup and one appearance so I think we can say their cup success is equal over that period. Of course New Jersey has been more successful overall with three Cups and a long string of playoff appearances. The Canes have suffered from small budgets although I think they do quite well with management staying just above the salary floor.

  7. cup0pizza - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Watch Dallas bid high on Parise, too.

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