NJ Devils’ Zach Parise can’t see himself playing for NY Rangers

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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


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