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Pittsburgh stills has the means to get Zach Parise

Jun 29, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins just spent $104.4 million on Sidney Crosby, but from a cap hit perspective, they’re looking great. Crosby’s annual cap hit will go unchanged from it’s current $8.7 million when his new contract kicks in, which means that the Penguins still have plenty of space to work with.

According to Cap Greek, they have $55,633,333 in cap space tied up with 18 players in 2012-13. That still leaves them with enough breathing space to go after Zach Parise and give Crosby a winger he can play with for years to come.

Parise to Pittsburgh isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pointed out, the two are long-time friends dating back to their prep school days in Minnesota. In fact, Crosby shared a suite with Parise’s family during the Stanley Cup finals.

That being said, the Penguins aren’t the only team that’s going to make a serious run at Parise. He might still re-sign with the New Jersey Devils and the Minnesota Wild are Parise’s hometown team. The Detroit Red Wings, with their rich history of success, are also expected to go after him. Finally, the Philadelphia Flyers can’t be ruled out, even if their cap situation isn’t as good as the other teams on this list.


UFA spotlight — Zach Parise

  1. rockthered1286 - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Or the sleeper that makes just as much sense:
    The Washington Capitals. Parise has a strong connection with Oates over the past few years, who is now the HC of the Caps. The Caps also need some offensive upgrades given the style of game Oates will run, and who better to bring in then a former Devil? On top of that, the Caps have PLENTY of Cap space, especially with the trades of Vokoun and Wideman, and Semin heading out of town. Don’t be shocked when they make a run at him.

    I don’t care how close of friends Parise and Crosby are, there are 2 discounts you give teams: hometown and draft team. You don’t go cheaper to play with buddies. If Minn and NJ go weak on their offers, expect Parise to go to the highest bidder.

    • bmscalise - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Or you take a discount to play for years beside the best center in the game, friend or not.

      I do think that NJ and Minn are legitimate landing spots. But between Wash and Pitt: really? One one hand, you have an organization with the top two centers in the game and a popular coach, an organization players regularly glow about, even on the way out the door. One the other hand, you have an organization that already has a franchise left wing and only one top-end center, an organization that is on its 3rd coach in two years and hasn’t made it past round two.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Minnesota’s offer won’t be “weak.” The best term to describe the Wild’s offer is “colossal.”

      • slickvb82 - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        take a discount to play with the best center in the game who is one hit/concussion away from being retired…

        Or, take a serious look at your home town team who will make a massive offer. A team that has pretty damn good centers in Koivu and Bouchard (if he stays healthy). A team that was atop of the league into December and clearly fell apart with injuries. A team who has HUGE upside with young talent and farm system. A town where you own a home, family lives and wife is from.

        Pitts wont happen. Parise will be on the Wilds roster very soon!

  2. kegmen7 - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    the one-two punch of crosby/parise and malkin/neal would single-handedly kill competitive balance in the nhl….

    • spiciercheez - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      Too bad their D and goaltending is less than stellar.

      • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        Meh, Fleury had a bad year after getting ridden for much of the season. Now that he has an actual backup I’m sure most of us will agree he should have a bounceback season with less pressure on him to play every single night.

        The D is also getting revamped, either signing Suter or bringing up some young talent may make a world of difference also.

      • stakex - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM


        The Pens already had one of, if not the most, feared offenses in the league last year. Yet their very poor defense and average at best goaltending is why they were blown out in the playoffs.

        Does no one remember the Washington Capitals from a couple years ago? An unstoppable offense that sunk in the playoffs because the back end was very weak. Thats what the Pens are right now, and going after Parise instead of working on the back end makes it even worse. It might lead to a lot of wins in the regular season, and sell a lot of tickets, but its unlikely to yeild playoff success.

      • bmscalise - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        The Pens weakness on D and in goal is greatly exaggerated – including by media and fans in Pittsburgh. Both were undoubtedly terrible in the playoffs. But Flower was fantastic from Nov. 2010 to mid-March 2012. He was the Pens unquestioned MVP in 2011. He was overworked and hit a slump at the worst possible time.

        The defense went from stellar in 2011 (finished well in the top 10) to mediocre in 2012 – with the same personnel. Michalek was awful because he was hurt – and destroyed his partner’s confidence as well. But more importantly, I think the issues were systemic – not personnel-related. The Pens have acknowledged that they will be revamping their systems to address this. The D – with or without Suter – would be more than adequate to support a team that (with Parise) would average close to 4 goals a game.

      • falvoja - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        Sir, your team gave up 30 goals in a 6 game playoff series. Your issue is in the d zone.

      • bmscalise - Jun 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        No one is suggesting that the goaltending and defense wasn’t horrific in the playoffs. But everything about that series was bizarre, and the idea that the issue will be solved with more or different defensemen specifically is simplistic.

        First, the issue was defense – not defensemen. The forwards who should have been backchecking were too busy trying to play fire-wagon hockey. J. Staal is the perfect example. Sure – he busted his butt during that series and was in many respects better than Geno or Sid. But he also didn’t want to stop playing like a second-line center and failed to do his job. In all the years he was in Pittsburgh, I never saw him play as poorly defensively or on the PK as he did that series. Everyone wanted to score goals instead of playing their role – and the team got burned. That’s on the forwards – and hopefully they learned their lesson.

        Secondly, 12 – 12! – of those 30 goals that the Flyers scored were on the PP. The Pens PK – which finished 3rd in the league in the regular season – totally collapsed. Why? Who knows – but it was an abnormality. In fact – I’d say the fact the PK was as good as it was during the regular season is a decent indication that it was systems – not the defensive personnel – that was the issue.

  3. legacybroken - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Nah Parise is going to team up with Datsuyk or Zetterberg and help the Wings add a few more cups to the Wings collection.

    • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      I could only see this happening on a short term thing, I am not going to say the Red Wings are old but their main stars are aging and I don’t think Parise would want to sign long term not knowing how the team is going to look in the near future.

  4. legacybroken - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Parise has said he’d rather play in the Western Conference if he isnt resigned by NJ. That makes Detroit or Minnesota the leaders. If winming is important he’s coming to the Motor City at that point unless a darkhorse like LA emerges in the West.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      Not to challenge you out of the blue, but I’ve been following this pretty closely and I haven’t seen that he wants to play in the West ANYWHERE. Perhaps your thinking of Suter who said he wants to stay in the Midwest?

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        Just to clarify – I’m not saying he doesn’t end up int he West (with Minnesota, the Wings, etc.) I’m just saying I’ve never seen it that he’d rather play there than Pittsburgh, NJ, etc.

  5. vokounviolatesvirginvag - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    yea right. he def doesnt want to play in the west cus the competition is awful. detroit will not land him cus he doesnt want to play with guys as old as his grandparents. he will be in a soup can army uniform sunday and all of you will be jealous!

    • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Detroit’s average player age is lower than that of the Penguins. Albeit their stars are on the older side, but they still have a lot of young players.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Yeah the West is so bad that they have won the Cup 4 of the last 6 years. And if Vancouver didn’t choke it would be 5 of last 6. With your monicker, I’m guessing your about 14.

  6. purpleguy - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    While I unfortunately think Parise won’t sign with my MN team, I still have a hard time seeing him signing with the Penguins. Even though Pitt is clearly the best team, it almost seems too easy — kind of like a Lebron James buy a championship type of deal rather than truly earning it. He doesn’t seem like that type of guy. Also, does Parise want to join Pitt as the third wheel and have the bulk of the cap comprised with 3 players?

    • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      So are you saying that if he joins the Pens winning a championship will be too easy? If so you really don’t watch enough hockey. The Flyers had a semi stacked team and still lost in the 2nd round, hockey is a team sport and everyone needs to bring it (See L.A. Kings) to have a chance at the cup, not just 3 star players.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      I agree to an extent that the comparisons to the Heat would inevitably be drawn if Parise joined the Pens (which pains me because I HATE the Heat and don’t know how I’d feel about the Pens looking like that) but I would point out a couple of things: a) it wouldn’t be three guys colluding together to go somewhere as FA, its one guy joining two others who were already there and b) it worked – they won a Championship in year two.

      The cap concerns are interesting, but in reality the hits aren’t that bad. I mean if they sign him now, look at the team they were able to put around those three going into 2012-2013. Certainly guys like Letang would be difficult to resign, but it just means Shero needs to be on his game and shrewd with how he spends his remaining dough. Difficult but not impossible.

  7. suckitny - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    2012 first round exit and still loving it!!!

  8. phillyphever - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    I don’t see it. 1) Malkin’s due for a new contract, and he might need a slight raise. 2) Ah, have you seen the defense core lately? Don’t care how many good forwards you have, if you don’t have a defense, you’re screwed (ask Niemi, Thomas and Quick how much Keith/Seabrook, Chara and Doughty helped them during their cup runs). 3) I highly doubt he’ll go anywhere else in the Atlantic besides NJ.

    • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      1. Malkin will probably get the same deal as Crosby, which is what he is making right now. I don’t see him making more than Crosby.

      2. Letang, Orpik, Niskanen, Engellend, current defense all are top 4 potential (Albeit Engellend is pushing it).

      Simon Despres, Joe Morrow, Robert Burtuzzo, Brian Strait, all NHL ready Dmen ready to join the big club this year, all bringing some sort of potential to the team.

      3. Just a hunch or any proof to back it up?

      • phillyphever - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Parise did say the Rangers are not on his list of teams to go to and unless the Islanders give him the highest contract in NHL history, he’s not going there. I take the face he said he wouldn’t said with the Rangers as a sign that he doesn’t want to sign with a team in the Atlantic other than Jersey (BTW, wasn’t a smart move saying he wants no part of NY. Could have gotten a better contract).

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      I echo Mike’s sentiments about point 2 – the defensive core now, is not going to be what we have going into the 2013 or 2014 season. Guys like Despres and Morrow are going to be top 4 guys, and I think Strait and Bortuzzo can be as well. Not to mention the Matta and Pouliot. The Pens DLine is stacked with young talent.

  9. ironcity6pak - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Parise to the pens, suter to the wings. Make it happen shero!

  10. stakex - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    A few things here that everyone keeps ignoring:

    1. There is no reason to think Parise will end up in Pittsburgh. There aren’t even any rumors to suggest they are a team hes looking at. The only reason we keep hearing about the Pens is because they themselves have said they are going after him. You know what though? There are probably a dozen teams interested in Parise, and some of them have far more cap space.

    2. Parise said he didn’t want to play for an Atlantic Division rival (The Rangers) if he happened to leave the Devils. So if he won’t join the Rangers, which play a system he likes and have a coach he knows well, what makes people think he will run to the Pens?

    2-b. If Parise was just saying the right things when asked about playing for a rival team (he was still a Devil when asked and wants to re-sign there, so saying yes would have been awkward), wouldn’t that then make the Rangers the front runner again? After all they were the destination everyone was talking about until Parise supposedly said he wouldn’t play for a rival like the Rangers. If that was just lip service, that would put the Rangers right back in the hunt.

    3. Of course the big thing everyone keep forgetting is that the Devils want to re-sign Parise, and he wants to stay with the Devils. At this point there is little reason to think he will even hit free agency and all this speculation is pointless.

    • rockthered1286 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      100% agree. All of this hoopla is because Shero came out and said they want him. Meanwhile, 10 or so other teams are sitting back waiting til Sunday and will go after him just as aggressively, if not more so. While I would love him to join the Caps, I know very well it’s a long shot. That being said if I had to take an educated guess? I’d say Detroit. Makes the most sense and they have some deep pockets.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      1. He hasn’t come out and said he was going anywhere, so all of the teams are posturing at that point. The difference with Pittsburgh being that Parise and Crosby are good friends and would likely be playing on a line together. Your point about cap space is by far the most salient – no one is going to outbid Minny IMHO, so if he goes elsewhere its not money related.

      2. Devils-Pens isn’t exactly Devils-Rangers. If Parise were leaving the Pens, for instance, it would be like him saying, “I don’t want to play for the Flyers,” not necessarily ruling out the Devils (that was probably a confusing way to make my point but it makes sense).

      2b. If Parise is considering the Rangers, I think there’s a good bet he goes there. Probably wouldn’t even need to pack up his place.

      3. Granted everything at this point is speculation and posturing, but it seems that most of the signs point to him wanting to move on. Its a franchise that off the ice is in turmoil, with a stud goalie who may not be around much longer.

  11. noreasony - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    The devils need parise, like they need money… Oh wait they do! As devils fan, if they don’t get parise, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself.

  12. lunds007 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    According to MN WILD owner, if Parise goes anywhere other than MN than he is doing it for less money. He is prepared to out spend any offer received. I really hope this is true! Adding Parise along with the young talent joining the squad this year will have this team in Cup Contention in 2014 and beyond.

    GO WILD!

    And pickup Suter while your at it!

  13. phillyphan83 - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    they still have to give 100+ mil to malkin next year. sorry, this deal ain’t happenin

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      And they could give it to him. They could give him the exact same deal they gave Crosby, and the cap number wouldn’t change. I want to say that you don’t understand the salary cap, but in reality its much simpler than that: you don’t understand division.

      • phillyphever - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        Yeah…you do know that things might change with the cap with the new CBA right? Honestly, if Shero’s gonna give Malkin that contract, he might want to do it now before the rules change.

      • killerpgh - Jun 29, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        Signing Malkin right now before the new CBA would be great. Except under the current CBA it is not allowed since Malkin will not enter the final deal of his contract until July 1st, 2013. That is when he can sign an extension.

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