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UFA spotlight — Zach Parise

Jun 25, 2012, 3:19 PM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

All week leading up to Sunday, July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.

Zach Parise (LW)

Age: 27

2011-12 cap hit: $6 million

The skinny: There’s no shortage of Parise suitors — to be honest, all 30 teams would like to acquire the services of a guy that’s notched five 30-goal seasons since the lockout, captained his team to the Stanley Cup finals and is regarded as one of the league’s most relentless and tenacious players.

That said, some have emerged as more serious players than others.

The Minnesota Wild are definitely interested. Ex-Minny GM Lou Nanne went on a local radio station and said that, while having dinner with Wild owner Craig Leipold, he learned “no one is going to outbid the Wild” for Parise’s services and the money offered will “be so substantial” that Parise won’t turn it down. Also, Parise was born and raised in Minnesota and his family still lives there.

Pittsburgh also appears to be in the mix. GM Ray Shero flipped Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek at the draft and cleared a bunch of salary in the process — important, as it was later revealed Shero wants to make a run at Parise and Ryan Suter. Parise would be an ideal winger for the Penguins, who have been trying to find an elite scoring guy to play alongside Sidney Crosby since forever. (After last season James Neal is now Evgeni Malkin‘s official guy, in case you were wondering.)

The New Jersey Devils hold the unique distinction of, you know, having Parise under their employ, meaning there are six more days to try and convince him to stick in Newark. The Devils’ biggest problems are 1) their massive financial crisis and 2) the rumblings Parise isn’t all that keen on staying there. That said, he is the captain and the heart/soul of the team. That has to count for something….right?

Finally, there’s Detroit. GM Ken Holland is on record saying the Wings will be “very aggressive” on July 1, with most expecting them to go hard (hehe) after Parise. The allure for Parise would be the chance to be centered by either (or both of) Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg which, if you’re a winger, is pretty enticing.

More UFA spotlights

Ryan Suter

  1. martysbetter - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    “2) the rumblings Parise isn’t all that keen on staying there.”

    I’m guessing “rumblings” is lazy journalist speak for “I read on HF forums”?

    I understand Parise resigning with the Devils isn’t the most exciting story, but you don’t need to fabricate nonsense – this hasn’t been reported ANYWHERE.

    • checkforecheck - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      You couldn’t be more spot on. This place is starting to get just as bad as PFT, which is football’s version of People magazine at this point. Lazy.

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    As I wrote on Suter’s free agency page, I think Parise already has a deal done with Minnesota. As mentioned in his article, the Wild are basically willing to write a blank check to him. He was in town last week for a charity hockey game that featured several members of the Wild. That’s why you hire agents. They do the dirty work. Your naive if you don’t think his agent already has an idea of what teams are offering. Every GM tampers, if he claims he doesn’t he’s lying. It also doesn’t hurt that childhood friend Tom Gilbert was acquired by the Wild at the deadline. Traded by a divisional rival nonetheless. Gilbert is also Suter good friend from his Wisconsin days.

    The Wild have or going to have to sell the future of this team. The fact their are rated as the 2nd best prospects in the NHL and their salary cap structure, shedding either bad contracts or high paying contracts in the next couple years. Players look at the teams future, well beyond the next year or two, when they sign lengthy contracts. Sorry Detroit, your old in the outlook. The Wild have only Mikko Koivu signed for long term.

    Parise also owns a house in the Twin Cities and his parents also live here, which doesn’t hurt. They would be able to sign both Suter and Parise. As mentioned on this site, they want to sign together.

    • sportsfreak13 - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      both suter and parise are on records saying they want to go somewhere where they can win and compete for cups. If you think the wild offer that then you obviously seeing through team colored glasses. Hope is good but be realistic.

      • ThatGuy - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        Well, if they sign both of them they would compete for cups.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Suter has said he wants to go to the Midwest or Nashville.

        The fact the Wild have some scoring coming back. Latendresse is a 30 goal scorer. Heatley is a 30 goal scorer. Koivu, Setoguchi, and Bouchard are players who can pass them the puck. Add in Clutterbuck and Brodziak who would be on the 3rd line makes that a great 3rd line. That’s not counting the prospects of Granlund, Coyle, Zucker, and Bulmer.

        Not only that, Bouchard, Backstrom and Cullen are free agents after the season opens up 14.5 million next summer to add more talent. Their D would be shored up if they can get Suter as well. Gilbert and Suter would make a decent top pairing. Add in prospects Brodin and Scandella. They are going to give Dumba every chance to make this team.

        They are shored up in goal with Backstrom and Harding this year. Harding takes over the next year as the starter, at a great price. They are also high on Hackett who showed he can play in the NHL. They have 2 others who are trading chips.

        So yeah, they are a couple players away from being a Cup contender.

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        I like your optimistic view of your teams roster but from a players perspective would you want to play on a line with koivu,heatley or crosby,malkin. From a d pairing would you prefer letang or gilbert. The players on the pens roster have won or been nominated for hart, art ross, ted lindsey, and norris trophies (along with cup resume) and consistent seasons in the playoffs. The pens having 14.5 mill in cap space puts them = with minnesota in that bargaining aspect and pittsburgh’s organization WILL spend to the cap because of the teams revenue where as that has yet to be seen in minnesota. Dont forget crosby and parise are best buds that both played at the same junior hockey team. Crosby even sat in the press box with parise’s parents during the cup finals.

      • bmscalise - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        Wow. You are one serious homer if you think that list puts the Wild even in the same time zone of talent as Pit, Phi, Van, LA, Bos, Chi…. and that’s with Suter and Parise.

        And incidentally, it was mentioned that Suter and Parise are friends, not they they are going to sign together. They aren’t codependent. I think it’s highly unlikely one team lands both.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Actually Minnesota has closer to 20 million in cap space. Yeah Crosby and Malkin are better than Koivu and Heatley at this point in their careers. However, Crosby signed a team friendly contract last time. Will he this time? The Pens would then be cap strapped for the next few years. Wild would opening cap space every year. Again Crosby and Malkin are good for the short term, but the Wild would be a deeper team.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        @@greatminnesotasportsmind

        I wear Wild homer glasses too but you can’t say with a straight face that the Wild are / could be a deeper team down the road…

        Sure we probably have the best prospect pool in the NHL now after this draft, we were #2 per THN this past Winter but in no way can you forecast that to beat out the likes of Malkin / Crosby and Co. They have two of the 3 best centermen in the league. Pitts badly needs defensive help (in my eyes) but they have good prospects coming up thru the ranks. You can’t assume Pitts Defense will be corrected in the next two years just like you can’t count on Minnesota being a cup contender without Suter / Parise.

        Both of you guys bring up great points, but we honestly just don’t know where they are going. I think Suter is more likely to go to MN than Parise but the financial offer may be too overpowering for Parise to say no to… If we offer him $10million a year, everyone will say that they are happy he isn’t on their team with that contract…Pitts is the best option to win now and in the next 3 years (pending a healthy Crosby)….. It’s all apples to apples at this point. We have to just let this play out another week

    • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      @sportsfreak13

      I think you bring up valid points but this one, I gotta pick on :)

      “Dont forget crosby and parise are best buds that both played at the same junior hockey team.”

      are you talking about shattuck st mary’s? The bording school in Minnesota about 50 mins away from the Twin Cities.. Crosby played there from 02-03 and Parise was there between 2000-2002. They never played together… as far as they being friends? Sure I bet they are but nothing to the degree that everyone thinks they are… just like Gilbert and Parise / Suter…. it’s all a bunch of media hype. We’ll know where they go in 7 days.

      Cheers :D

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

        thats why I said AT the same team and not ON the same team.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM

        my bad for not seeing that…sorry

        but it’s still overrated the friendship comments.. no matter they be for Parise / Crosby or Suter / Parise / Gilbert yada yada yada..

        Not disagreeing just saying.

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:53 PM

        your 100% right. I put about as much stock in their “friendship” as I do parise wanting to play in his hometown. July 1 will be really interesting and fun.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        I agree… It’s not if he Parise cares now too much if he plays at home, but his old lady might. Midwest boys care about the ladies in their life, momma didn’t raise no fool. LOL.

        It’s going to come down to win now and the next 4 years while making very good money or possibly win now (with Suter) and down the road (prospects) while making God like money.

        Either way, there will be plenty of I told you so’s coming in the next 10 days

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:12 PM

        sorry I was doing something else while typing this sentence….

        “I agree… It’s not if he Parise cares now too much if he plays at home, but his old lady might”

        it looks terrible but I think you might catch my point.

        Sorry

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      Right, but how is Pittsburgh going to afford a Crosby extension, most likely at a higher price than his 8.7 million now. The following summer Malkin will presumably get a raise from his 8.7 million and Sutter will have earned his first big realpay day. Also Tyler Kennedy will get a raise from the 2 million he makes now. The summer after that Fleury will get a raise from his 5 million. As this core group gets bigger raises, that’s going to effect the depth of them where they can’t afford the Cook’s, Dupuis’, and Kunitz.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        Pitts will run into cap issues by 2014-2015, no doubt about it (if they sign Parise) but that is a great problem to have and someone would be a trade asset.

        Shero would be stupid to not spend up to the cap and have elite level play in the top 6.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:43 PM

        It might be a great problem to have depending on who and how long is left on their contract. Leopold bit Shero in the buttock with his 5 mil until 2015. Look at our favorite team with Backstrom and Bouchard. Impossible to move.

      • nichis01 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        I honestly don’t see why the Penguins players can’t take a pay cut like Vancouver’s players do. If you wanna win championships you gotta take a cut every now and then. Burrows for 2 million. The Sedin’s for 6.1. Kesler(at the time) at 5. Crosby and Malkin don’t need more than 8.7 a year. Crosby’s making bank off of his advertisements anyways. I think they will take a pay cut to have the best surrounding core behind them.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

        Crosby already took less than market, team friendly contract when he signed his 5 year 43.5 million dollar deal. Why would he take a pay cut from that, when Parise is going to sign along the lines of 9 years 90 million?

  3. prov1x - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    If they want to “win” why wouldn’t they just both sign with Nashville? Preds have gone further than the Wings and Wild ( way further) the past two seasons. Management has said they will spend to the cap, why wouldn’t it be thought that Suter could talk his buddy into heading south to join him, Weber and Peks? IMO it would be a mistake to go to Detroit, that ship has sailed.

    • nichis01 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      Nashville has like 17 free agents to sign this off-season and not a single one has been signed yet. Weber, Suter, Radulov, both brothers Sergei and Angrei, Tootoo, Blum ect. The fact of the matter is that Bashville is not going to entice all of them to come back. Weber has already made it known last year by not signing a long term deal that he’s looking to leave. Radulov always has a chance to flake out on the Preds again.
      I think last year was the Preds last hoorah with this core group, but it’s gonna be dismantled come July 1st. There’s really not much of a point in signed back there in my mind.

  4. legacybroken - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    I find it quaint when people speculate on the Wing’s imminent demise. That hockey meme is so early 2000’s.

  5. dkphilly1122 - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    I guarantee Minnesota doesn’t end up with either. Like the comment up further said about wanting to WIN. Minnesota isn’t even remotely close to being a contender like Phi, Pitt, NJ, Nash, Det, NY, and LA. Parise wants to play with another ELITE player at that, Suter as well. So why in the hell would they sign with the Wild?? They don’t wanna wait 5 years or more to make the playoffs. I ain’t saying Philly will sign either, but neither is Minneosta. Lets be honest here buddy.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      If the Wild do sign both, they will compete with Vancouver for the final Northwest division championship.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      @dkphilly

      what is your guarantee worth?

      I am not saying the Wild are front runners because simply put, there are no front runners. We are going off of media speculation on where we think they will end up, or their dads, or beat writers sniffing these guys’s farts…….. Minnesota is a true player in this deck of cards because they are willing to overpay and history shows, MONEY TALKS.

      So again, what is your guarantee worth ………..

      • polegojim - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:33 AM

        There are no front-runners? Cmon Fletch, we know better.

        Money Available, Surrounding talent, Proven determination to win, Solid Coaching

        That’s where Parise and Suter are going. Three teams top that criteria.

        Detroit – Pitt – NJ

  6. bethgoesglobal - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Parise is a franchise player right now. If he went to Pitts where would he stand? He may not want to play side-kick to Crosby/Malkin and company. When it comes to “winning” no one can promise that. There are a lot of good teams in the NHL which are perennially picked as Cup favorites who continue to fall short- Vancouver, Washington, Sharks. I think any player who chooses to play somewhere because they can “win” there is setting themselves up for disappointment.

  7. dkphilly1122 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    It’s worth everything. Money only talks to an extent. The same stuff you’re hearing about the Wild gonna throw money at Parise is the same stuff i’m hearing in Philly about the Flyers are gonna go after Parise hard yet still and throw him a ton of money…..and regardless of people saying the Flyers don’t have the money, they do. Do I think they’ll get him in Philly?? Probably not, don’t really care considering we need Defense, not Offense. Plus I’d rather us get Bobby Ryan instead along side G for less money. I don’t see him signing in Minnesota either way, regardless of how much money they throw at him. He wants a real chance at a Cup next year, not a few years down the road. He’s signing with a big market club like Pitt or Det, or staying with the Devils. But I guess we all have our opinions and we’ll find out soon enough. Goodluck to him where ever he goes.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:46 PM

      So you’d rather trade assets for a player (Bobby Ryan) who isn’t potentially as good as Zach Parise, instead of signing Parise and not giving anything up? That is why your not a GM. Nor am I, but your rational makes zero sense.

  8. ron05342 - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    The fact that the Kings still haven’t signed Penner is pretty clear evidence they are going to go after Parise. If he wants to win, who better to sign with than the defending SC champions?

    I don’t think Los Angeles can offer as much money as Minnesota, Detroit, or Pittsburgh, but they are definitely involved in the discussion. It all depends upon Parise’s motivation.

    I don’t think he resigns with New Jersey.

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