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Parise: “We want to try to get things worked out with New Jersey”

Jun 26, 2012, 6:54 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise Getty Images

When you hear hockey fans and pundits discuss the latest Zach Parise rumors, talk tends to gravitate toward teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild and so on. Many seem to count out his current team, the New Jersey Devils, yet Parise told Rich Chere that his first team isn’t out of the running.

Parise says that the Devils have a chance even if they don’t sign him by the time he would reach unrestricted free agency on July 1.

“If that does happen, my agents have done a really good job of doing the best they can to prepare me for it. But first and foremost, we want to try to get things worked out with New Jersey,” Parise said. “I know the perception would be, ‘Oh, he wants out.’ But that’s not the case. I haven’t been lying. I’ve said all along how much I like playing in New Jersey. So that wouldn’t be me saying, ‘I don’t want to play there anymore.’ ”

Fair or not, people – particularly Devils fans – might see it that way if Parise bolts for another city.

Making a deep postseason run should certainly help New Jersey’s chances, but when teams like the Penguins (allegedly) gear up to bring you in, it might be hard to turn such a chance down. Still, Parise insists that it’s far from a done deal.

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