Category Archives: New Jersey Devils
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Parise not tipping hand as free agency nears
The Devils captain, scheduled to become the most coveted commodity of this summer’s free-agent crop on July 1, broke his season-long silence on his pending unrestricted free agency Wednesday. He said he would not consider crossing lines in the heated Hudson River rivalry.
Instead, Parise insisted he has never imagined himself wearing a sweater other than that of the Devils, the team he led to the Stanley Cup Finals this spring in his seventh NHL season.
“I’ve said all along, I’ve loved playing here,” Parise said. “I’ve always appreciated everything that this organization’s done for me. My feelings have never changed.”
Several teams, including his home state Minnesota Wild, are expected to bid for Parise’s services once he hits the market, but when asked if he could ever see himself playing in a Rangers jersey, the 27-year-old laughed nervously and said: “No.”
When asked again about signing with the Blueshirts, he said no three times.
Parise’s agent did not return calls, but such comments are not exactly the way to attract a high-spender such as the Rangers to the bidding war.
If the Blueshirts do not pursue Parise, they would likely have to make a trade to acquire their stated need of a star scorer.
Most notably, Blue Jackets captain and top-line winger Rick Nash remains on the trading block
Zach Parise declined to discuss his future on Monday night after the New Jersey Devils’ season came to an end with a Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the expectation remains that the Minnesota Wild will make a very strong push to sign the unrestricted free agent.
Former North Stars president and general manager Lou Nanne confirmed as much on Tuesday during his weekly appearance on “Reusse and Mackey” on 1500 ESPN. Nanne said that after talking to Wild owner Craig Leipold last week he believes, “the Wild are going to throw the kitchen sink” at the winger in order to land him.
Nanne said he thinks the fact the financially strapped Devils lost in the Cup finals make it less likely that Parise will stick with that organization. Parise has spent his seven-year NHL career with New Jersey and served as the team’s captain.
“I was under the belief that he would have to win the Cup to come to Minnesota until I talked to Craig Leipold last week,” Nanne said. “I’ve gotta tell you, the Wild are going to throw the kitchen sink at him. I think there’s a good chance he ends up in Minnesota, because I don’t see anybody in the National Hockey League willing to give as much to Parise as the Wild are going to be willing to give. So I would not be surprised if Zach Parise came home.”
Nanne went on to say that the Wild will pursue Parise and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, who also will be a free agent on July 1.
“They’re going to do everything in their power to get them,” Nanne said. “And I would not be surprised if they got them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t get them. But I have to tell you, if they don’t get them it’s going to be confusing to me — especially Parise, because I really believe the Wild will pay more than anybody else for him.”
The Red Wings, Rangers and Penguins also have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Parise, whose father J.P. played with the North Stars.
Up next for the Los Angeles Kings: First, a parade. Then, the pursuit of free agent Zach Parise come July 1.
These Kings have no intention of winning just one Stanley Cup. They want more. And they are not in any kind of salary cap conundrum, the way past winners have found themselves . They won’t have to dish off quality players – or any players really – the way the Chicago Blackhawks did after winning two years ago.
And while they won’t say so because they can’t legally say so, the captain of the New Jersey Devils is No. 1 on their off-season shopping list.
They want Parise, as do many teams, and they want him badly.
Parise fits perfectly into the Kings’ ultra-competitive philosophy, led by general manager Dean Lombardi and his able assistant, Ron Hextall. What they determined on their way to the Stanley Cup was what so many have known already. But until you witness it up close, experience it with your players – that fine line between success and failure often comes down to little more than effort.
And it’s not just effort. It’s a willingness to compete at a level beyond the norm. That willingness, when combined with superb goaltending by Jonathan Quick, terrific team altering leadership from coach Darryl Sutter, and all-world play from defenceman Drew Doughty, is why the Kings came out of the eighth seed and won 16 playoff games, losing just four, and now have an entire summer to celebrate.
In the post-game hysteria, Hextall, who was once the ultimate competitor himself, approached defenceman Rob Scuderi in the all the noise and spray of the Kings dressing room. He saw Scuderi, with a broken nose, a cut on his lip, a cut on his chin, is face looking like a work of abstract art, all from the game and series changing hit by Steve Bernier of the Devils and had to tell him rather loudly. “You’re the reason why we won the Stanley Cup.”
Zach Parise interrupted the question as soon as he heard the words “future” and “now that it’s over.”
He is 18 days from becoming the biggest free agent in the NHL, but in the aftermath of the Devils’ 6-1 season-ending loss to the Kings Monday night, he wasn’t about to address it.
“I’m not going to talk about that,” the Devils captain said. “I’m not going to talk about that.”
But his future Hall of Fame teammate — another free agent — said Monday night that the team needed to move quickly to lock up their captain before he ended up in another uniform.
“I think Zach is a big thing that the organization has to take care of first, there’s no doubt about that,” Martin Brodeur said.
“They need to try to lock him in and lure him into staying.
“He’s a franchise player. He’s a guy fans love, and as a captain, he’s a great leader. He did a great job in his first year as a captain to bring a team that was counted out early in the season to what we almost accomplished. It was pretty impressive.”
Will the Devils be able to keep him? The only thing they know for sure is that they’ll have plenty of competition. Detroit, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and yes, the hated Rangers, are all believed to be in the market for the perennial 30-goal scorer.
Maybe the Devils don’t need to board a plane for their flight to Los Angeles. Maybe the Devils can simply ride Air Brodeur across the country for tomorrow night’s Game 6 against the Kings.
They are only halfway home, have done only half of the heavy lifting necessary before they can do the lifting every single one of them lives and strives for, the lifting of the 34.5-pound chalice, but if the Devils are only halfway home now, that is somewhere noteworthy when only five days ago they were going nowhere fast.
“It’s a different kind of thing to get yourself ready for this kind of game, two in a row,” Martin Brodeur said after yet another throwback performance in his team’s 2-1 Game 5 victory at the Rock that makes tomorrow night necessary. “It drains you and takes a lot out of you, but it’s worth it.
“They [the Kings] have been so close, I’m sure it’s getting to them a little bit, all the chances to end it.”
Two chances down and two chances to go for the Kings, who carried the play most of the way, yet were thwarted for the second time in the four nights by Brodeur, whose own team mustered just four shots in the first period and three in the third.
There is history in the making here; history that can be made by the team with the pedigree, the team with the all-time goaltender who has reached all the way back perhaps even to 17 years ago when he won his first of three Stanley Cups as a 23-year-old.
“I wish I was that eloquent so I could phrase it for you [for what Marty means to us],” said coach Pete DeBoer, who has maintained equanimity throughout this tournament. “His performance speaks for itself. The timing of it with us 10-1 in Games 4-through-7 in our series is a testament to how he enjoys the pressure.”
Brodeur faced only 25 shots, but it was the timing of the saves, just the way it’s always been throughout a career during which he spent the first 11 years playing behind the Hall of Fame Great Scotts on defense — Stevens and Niedermayer.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/devils/they_re_halfway_to_making_history_tpFH7EBVBx8XGiWWreYbjN#ixzz1xRmXC2A3
Devils winger Zach Parise wouldn’t be able to count his scoring chances during the Stanley Cup finals on his two hands if he wanted to.
Of all the Devils, Parise has felt the sting of running into the wall that is Kings goalie Jonathan Quick the most.
Parise has no points in the finals. He and fellow star Ilya Kovalchuk’s minimal production have stood out in a series that would be much different for the Devils, who are in an unenviable 3-1 hole after winning Game 4, if their two best threats had converted. All they have is an empty-net goal between them.
“We do need to score; that’s our job and that’s our responsibility,” Parise said, repeating a common refrain.
But the lack of production doesn’t negate the type of player Parise is, nor will it affect New Jersey’s desire to re-sign him or
numerous teams to pursue him.
Parise is one of two prized unrestricted free agents this summer, the other being Predators defenseman Ryan Suter.
The clock is not only ticking on the Devils’ season, but on Zach Parise’s career in New Jersey, for when the puck is dropped tonight for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it will start the countdown at T-minus-60 on the captain’s impending unrestricted free agency
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.
Parise, who will turn 28 next month, could attract offers of up to 12 years. He will certainly receive front-loaded, bonus-laden offers from the Rangers and Red Wings, who have millions to spend and the inclination to do so.
The Wild will be in, though Parise might want to think more than twice about going home to join a team in which he would be the best player by leaps and bounds.
The Sharks could be in. The Maple Leafs will be, though current general manager Brian Burke doesn’t believe in front-loaded deals. The Bruins could become a serious contender. There will be others.
Given the financial realities in New Jersey, it’s almost impossible to conjure the scenario in which ownership could cut Parise a $10 million check on July 2. And again, that’s even assuming Parise’s first choice is to remain a Devil.
The Star Leger is reporting that the New Jersey Devils are expected to trade Richard Matvichuk in the near future. Apparently he is not working our very will under Sutter’s style of play and other young players have stepped it up to take his spot.