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The Zach Parise free agency derby awaits

Jun 6, 2012, 9:48 AM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

Things aren’t looking great for the New Jersey Devils right now. They’re down 3-0 to the Kings in the Stanley Cup finals and have managed to score just two goals in those three games. Making things more uncomfortable, another loss brings on the offseason and that means time to speculate where soon-to-be free agent Zach Parise might play next.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post points out Parise’s future very well may not wind up in New Jersey as a dozen teams will be ready to vie for Parise’s services for possibly the rest of his career. Brooks says the kind of deal Parise can expect will look awfully familiar.

This all but certainly will be the final summer in which, a) players will be allowed to sign front-loaded contracts with huge signing bonuses that this year will also serve as lockout-protection; and b) players will be permitted to sign contracts without term limits.

Indeed, Parise can expect offers modeled after the nine-year, $60 million contract Brad Richards signed last summer with the Rangers, under which the center is receiving $24 million the first two years, including a $10 million signing bonus last July and an $8 million signing bonus due next month.

Brooks mentions Detroit, Boston, the Rangers, Toronto, Minnesota, and San Jose as likely instantly interested teams.

At the very least, if the Devils want to get back in the series and keep hope alive, a win would help that cause. A win will also keep the free agency vultures away for a few more days.

  1. sknut - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    This could be an insane bidding war along with Suter it could be a really interesting summer. I give the Rangers, and Minnesota the lead but its still way early and anything could happen.

  2. manchestermiracle - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I’m a little curious as to why any team in the Kings division would want Parise (San Jose), with the way he’s played in the finals.

    • sjshark714 - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      have you SEEN my sharks… they are probably the slowest team in the league and have piss-poor motivation… Parise has the charisma to be a leader, talent, motivation, and most importantly doesn’t have cinder-blocks for feet. I would trade pretty much anyone on our team for him. If you pass on every guy who can’t score on Quick in 3 games, you are going to have a very disappointing off-season. Also, the Sharks don’t necessarily have a problem beating the Kings (4-2 this season).

  3. mclovinhockey - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Because the way he plays all year…. I think the wings go for the 2 biggest men on the market and land at least one suter or parise…. They have the cap. It’s not every year the top 2 free agents are American…

    • langforc - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      I agree, he is a top free agent for a reason. If Suter makes it to free agency he has to be the Wings top priority to sign. They are looking at losing Stuart and have already lost Lidstrom (TPH).

      Also, it is pretty cool that the top 2 UFAs are American.

  4. mdev1987 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    As a devils fan I won’t miss his ability to not score a damn goal when it’s needed. He can just go

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Typical Devils fan ladies and gentlemen

      • checkforecheck - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        I assure you, that’s not a typical Devils fan response or outlook. It sounds like he’s being passionately stupid

  5. nvandy42 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    If its all about Money, he’ll go home to Minnesota. They know they need a superstar and if they can be stupid enough to deal out Koivu’s contract, they’ll give Parise the keys to the Excel center. The wild won’t be outspent for their home grown star. If its more about winning, I believe he’ll go to the Rangers. They are just desperate enough after Gabby went down to throw everything they have at him.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      How would the Wild be stupid to get arid of Koivu? GM Fletcher had said Koivu is the only untouchable player. They can sign both Parise and Suter without having to make a trade.

      If he or they sign with Minnesota, I promise you it isn’t about the money. He’s gonna get paid big wherever he goes. If he signs with them, he was sold about the teams future with the numerous prospects have been listed throughout any post regarding him or Suter. Also he was sold on how the Wild are set up for the next few years cap wise as well. They will have at least double digit cap room each year to sign free agents to add even more depth as these bad contracts they have now come off the books.

      • nvandy42 - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        I was talking about the fact that they gave Koivu that big of a contract in the first place. Koivu is our best player but he is not worth his contract.

      • spiciercheez - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:55 PM

        ^^ Hey that reminds me a lot of Mauer…..

  6. stakex - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    If he leaves the Devils, I would be quite suprised if he doesn’t land with the Rangers. Heres why:

    1. First of all, NY is close. He probably wouldn’t even have to move… a big plus for a player. You could argue he might want to play for Minnesota is where he grew up, but see point three.

    2. The Rangers have the money, and are willing to spend it. With $21 million in cap space the Rangers can spend pretty big on Parise (its also possible Dubinsky will be moved to free up even more space).

    3. Its likely the Rangers will be a top contender next year, and star players always want to go to a winner. For this reason Toronto, Minnesota, and San Jose are probably out of the running from the start.

    4. We know Parise likes Torts, and his father thinks he would fit right in with the Rangers. Its a big thing to like the coach of the team your going to… especially if you think hes a winning coach.

    ————————————————————————————-

    Anything can happen but those are convincing points IMO. The Rangers REALLY want more scoring, and Parise might be the solution… and we know how nuts Sather gets when he wants something.

    • nvandy42 - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      I will remind you that at one point in December, The Wild were in first place in the NHL. Their decline started when they were constantly running into injuries throughout the second half. But with their top 7 prospects all signed, they have some decent insurance. I think Minnesota is going to be a team on the definite rise and definitely a contender in the playoffs next year. They just need a veteran star scorer. Welcome home Zach.

      • stakex - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        Noone cares what you do in December, and there is no excuse for going from 1st to 24th.

        The Rangers on the other hand actually did finish 1st in the East and 2nd overall, and are only going to be better next year. They have most of the team still under contract, will have Kreider playing who is a rising star, and are likely to pick up at least one top scorer. There not just going to be contenderes to make the playoffs like Minnesota, there probably going to be contenders to win the Cup.

        So with that in mind, I would be a ton of money that if Parise leaves the Devils… the Wild are not in his plans. It might not be the Rangers either, but it won’t be the Wild.

      • nvandy42 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        take that sloot!!

    • anthonykornheiser - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      parise also spent time growing up in NY too. Not that its the end all be all but a lot of factors mentioned above me fit as well. hes still young and the rangers are an extremely young team that isnt even close to their ceiling. I think they try and sign parise and schultz and maybe even package a dubinsky deal for bobby ryan because their contracts are similar. The rangers also have numerous prospects they can deal. There is also a potential deal for shea weber due to the oodles of talent they can trade (not named kreider) and some salaries to make him cheaper than flat out signing suter. Jason Garrison makes the most sense since the NYR need a powerful point shot and they can get him fairly cheaper. That would be a really nice core on defense. There are so many rumblings about how inept the rangers Offense is. They finished top ten in scoring and thats with an anemic PP. Losing gaborik the first few mos is a big blow, but, guys like kreider and hagelin are around all yr and theyll more than likely go hard after parise and someone else who fits in. He isnt like a holik or gomez, their playing styles are totally different and hes younger, its foolish to compare.

  7. quizguy66 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Let Parise go to the Rag$ – he’ll follow the same path that Gomez and Holik did. And he’d deserve it.

    -QG

    • stakex - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      Parise is a LOT better player the Gomez was. Parise already has 25 goals more then Gomez…. and hes five years younger. Parise has scored 30+ goals five times. Gomez only once scorer more then 16 goals in a season. There is no comparison.

      When he came to the Rangers, Gomez didn’t fail to live up to how he played with the Devils. He failed to live up to the unrealistic expectations the Rangers had for him.

  8. mianfr - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Eh, I really hope he doesn’t come to the Rangers. I don’t want another Devils player with declining productivity, and I don’t think Sather does either.

    I think they’ll be much more interested in trading for Nash or, gasp, going after Suter.

  9. pone27 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Really am surprised people are saying that Parise is a declining player. Guy is going to be 28, not 35.

    He is perennial 30 goal scorer. You put him with any top notch center (Datsyuk, Zetts, Richards, Koivu) and he easily can hit the 40 goal plateau.

    IMO, he is a smaller and younger version of Patrick Marleau.

    I have no clue where he is going to end up, I think its way too early to say. He is going to have a bunch of team going after him. I am more interested in seeing what happens with Suter to be honest.

  10. danphipps01 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I wonder about the Kings as a bidder in the free agent contests coming up. Not for Suter, they’re clearly not in need of another $7m+ D-man, but Parise? A potentially high-scoring two-way left winger who isn’t shy of getting physical? Penner’s coming off the books, and he’s guaranteed not coming back on. Gagne may very well be moved, he’s not likely to come close to earning $3.5m at this point, sad to say. Stoll? He’s not getting $3.6m again. That leaves a fair bit of money, probably north of eight million, plus another eight million or so of existing cap space, free to spend on a couple of low-budget bottom-sixers, a value-adjusted contract for Stoll perhaps, and RFA Dwight King. It isn’t going to be a lot of money, and while they need to save up a lot for next season’s resignings of Quick, Voynov and Martinez, there aren’t any major contracts ending in the immediate future other than those – and if Carter doesn’t earn his pay, it’s not like they couldn’t just deal him on like the last two teams.

    Point is, they could potentially have space to bid on a top-flight guy like Parise if they wanted to.

  11. rockthered1286 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I’m sure I’ll get a ton of flack for this, but is it so outlandish to assume the Caps would be in the running? They have nearly the same exact cap space as the Rags, they need help on the offense, and would still have room to keep Green and sign a few middle of the pack players to fill lines 3 and 4.

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