|CBS New York|
Jim Matheson, edmontonjournal.com --- Has there been a hotter ticket than New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise on the free-agent stage in the last 10 years?One can only speculate where Parise going after the July 1st when free agent can begin signing contracts with other clubs. You can bet that the Wild are going to be in the running and Michael Russo has basically stated that the Wild will give him the money he wants if he decided to come to Minnesota. With all of the young recruits in the pipeline ready to step up for the Wild this “might” be enough to convinced Parise to say yes to the Minnesota Wild. Or not! I guess we will find out around July, 1st?
You can see how badly he wants to win, the pistons pumping as he hunts down a loose puck in the neutral zone and sends it into the open net to ensure the Game 5 win for the Devils at Madison Square Garden.
He’s the engine that drives the Devils, with due respect to the big wheel Ilya Kovalchuk, who is much better than I thought he’d ever be when they gave him that lifetime contract as a free agent.
But how can there be room for both players next season and beyond when the Devils ownership is an absolute mess and Parise can easily get $8 million US on the open market?
The Devils have no wiggle room because Elias ($6 million) and Dainius Zubrus ($3.4 million) aren’t unrestricted free agents until July 2013, the same with Marek Zidlicky on defence.
There are four scenarios: Parise stays in New Jersey; he goes to Detroit, where the Red Wings will sell him on playing with Pavel Datsyuk, he slides over to the New York Rangers; or Parise, who turns 28 in July, goes home to suit up for the Minnesota Wild.
In Minnesota, the citizenry are awash with expectations that Parise might want to come home. His dad, J.P., runs the hockey program at the exclusive Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school and Parise’s girlfriend is from North Dakota and one of J.P.’s best friends is former North Stars GM Lou Nanne, who holds significant sway in that area. But then again, plenty of NHLers don’t want the pressure of playing before friends and family.Please Zach come to the state of hockey…