Will Parise Cross the River?

A star winger for the Devils, Parise will be the most coveted prize of the NHL’s off-season as he becomes an unrestricted free agent. His presence in the Eastern Conference Finals hints at a promising scenario for the Rangers that could play out in early July. Here’s Parise, 27 years old and in the prime of his career, delivering two goals and an assist in the Devils’ 4-1 series-tying victory in Monday’s Game 4, and it’s impossible to watch him and not wonder what he might bring to the Rangers if they were to win the bidding battle for him.

Through a spokesman, the Rangers and GM Glen Sather declined to comment on their possible pursuit of Parise. Earlier this season, Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said he would not discuss any conversations he might have with Parise’s agent, Wade Arnott, saying only, “Zach Parise is our captain. He’s our leader. We want him to be here.” Arnott recently confirmed that there have been no formal talks with the Devils regarding Parise’s future, and for his part, Parise said last week that he is focused solely on helping his team beat the Rangers in this series

Despite what’s presumed to be an uncertain climate for signing free agents—the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15—one development is all but assured, according to several league analysts and former executives: The Rangers will make a play for Parise.

Based on this season’s per-team salary-cap number of $64.3 million, the Rangers would have more than $16 million worth of room under the cap next season, and it’s something of an annual tradition for Sather to chase, and often catch, the biggest name on the market: Chris Drury and Scott Gomez in 2007, Marian Gaborik in 2009, Brad Richards—to the tune of nine years and $60 million—last year.


34 Responses to Will Parise Cross the River?

  1. JoelLeafs says:

    I'm actually amazed that the NYR have that much cap space available. Guess they've ditched plenty of crap contracts and spend little on the D-corps. They do have about 10 players to resign next year, but most of those are RFAs that just need qualifying offers. 

    I'd be surprised to see such a long time devil go to a rival that close, but if he did the Rangers would be even more stacked. Interestingly I think if the Devils win it he is more likely to move on, but failing that, why not re-up with the Devils for a few years and give it another go. If Marty has 2 season left in him, why not stick around for two more years and try for a cup.
  2. reinjosh says:

    There is a reason Sather was never fired. He's a good GM. He made mistakes and misteps but overall he's a good GM that was able to effectively build this team over time. Leaf fans should take note with Burke. But this isn't about that, it's about the Rags.

    The Rangers are built to win for a long time. The only guy they have that will receive a largish raise is Del Zotto. Stralman will get one but it will be a mild raise. They will start to have issues when Gaborik, Lundqvist, Girardi, Boyle all hit UFA at the same time. Still they don't have anyone to an onerous long term contract outside of Richards. They are build extraordinarily well cap wise. 
    Parise could jump to them but I don't see them offering as much as other teams. Their need isn't as much anymore. They have the big scorer in Gaborik, and they added their number center in Richards. Do they need another big salary guy? It might be smarter to bypass the big salary and stick with what they have, especially considering how well they have done this year.
    But maybe they get a little concerned about their goal scorer as a result of these playoffs (although it wasn't a concern in teh regular season). 
    But year, if they grab Parise, they will be stacked. 
  3. TheLeafNation91 says:

    When he's on his game (like he was last night), he's the most complete player in the game. He really has zero weaknesses…And if Canadian, was probably the only American who would have been a lock for Team Canada.

    I would be surprised if their is not a GM war for him if he goes to free agency…He's that great. I hope Burke goes after him.

  4. JoelLeafs says:

    That's a bit of a bold claim. Would you take Parise over Crosby first overall in a fantasy draft?

    My only worry with him would be him following the trend of FAs in their prime signing for decades. I'd love Parise, but there is always a risk in signing a player for 6, 7, 8, or more years. Though I have a feeling the pending CBA renegotiation might make his agent a but cautious of this type of approach. Hell, if he doesn't win the cup this year, why not stick with a good team in Jersey and sign a 2-year and go from there? Though from his point of view it might mean less money overall as he probably won't have the same bargaining power at 29-30 as he does now.

  5. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I'm looking more than offence and defence, where Crosby is probably the best player in that regard.

    But when I refer to complete package, I'm looking at the small things as well. He plays various roles and does them exceptionally well. He can play the high offence, he is arguably the best shutdown player in the league, and even at 5'11…He looks like a power forward out there. He's a unique breed. When he's at his highest, he has zero weaknesses.

    He was also the best forward on either USA or Canada in that 2010 final. Would be hard to argue against that.

  6. thisgamewelose says:

    Someones got a mannnnnn crush. 🙂

  7. LeafsNation4Ever says:

    Well they're talking about Parise so.. Don't we all?

  8. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Hahaha. Maybe a bit.

    He's always been one of my favorite players in the league…Just sucks the Devils ain't attractive.

    If he goes to LA or St. Louis…They will probably jump into the fourth slot.

    If he goes to either Toronto, Nashville, or Washington…I'll be in heaven.

  9. thisgamewelose says:

    Every team would love to have him. He adds grit, heart, and scoring.  However, I'm not sure the Rangers would be smart offering another huge contract for another 6/7 years. 

    Richards hasn't really provided the offense we paid for, although he comes with with huge goals and plays when our backs are against the walls. Gaborik is very streaky and way too soft to play on this team. He's got a great release, but I don't think he's use to playing this many games, he doesn't have the speed this late in the season, and he's too easy to bump off his skates.  I think having those contracts prevents us from really making a huge offer to Parise.  
    I don't see Fedotenko, Emminger, Bickel, and John Scott,  being signed again. So they definitely have the cap space if they choose to bring up prospects like JT Miller and others. 
  10. leafmeister says:

    I would shell out the big bucks for Parise. He is a way bigger prize than has hit the market in many years. I hope Burke goes all in.

  11. reinjosh says:

    How awesome would he be in Nashville. He's like the perfect Nashville player in every single regard.

    Definitely would want on the Leafs first, but barring them I want to see him on Nashville. 
  12. reinjosh says:

    If you had your choice of Parise or Suter for the Leafs, who would you choose? Assume the contract either would take is identical. 

  13. thisgamewelose says:

    Parise hands down. The leafs have more than enough d-players to make it work. Having a guy like Parise who will hustle and bust his ass to get back to help the defense would be huge. 

  14. leafmeister says:

    Thats tough. I would love to see Suter-Phaneuf. I think that would be a killer pair. However, I think I would take Parise. 

  15. MystifoLeafs says:

    I would kill to see Parise with Kessel or even Parise with Grabovski (Imagine the hustle those two would have. Unreal.) But at the same time Suter would make Phaneuf look so much better and allow him to join the rush so much more. It would also open up a trade option on defence. Tough call but I think I would love Parise more.

  16. reinjosh says:

    While we do have more than enough d-man, we don't really have a number 1. Gardiner might (and I really stress might) have that potential but even if he does its not likely to develop for a couple years. Phaneuf is great but he's more suited to play a number 2 role, where he can play his roving game, making big hits, jumping up into the play, etc. Suter would be a perfect fit for him. 

    But at the same time your point about having a guy like Parise would be huge. Having a guy that jumps back and busts his ass in the top 6 would be huge. It helps the defense out but it also gives us a player who understands the transition game both ways and can be highly effective in transition out of the defensive zone or back in. 
    I think my choice would be Parise as well, but it's a tough one. 
  17. reinjosh says:

    Thats what makes it such a difficult choice for me. Which player would ultimately help more?

    But I think I agree, Parise would be my choice. Parise would be awesome and being able to play Grabo/Parise/third guy on one line, with Kessel/Lupul/third guy on another line would be amazing. It makes things pretty set on the top line and getting a number one center becomes less of an issue. 
  18. blaze says:

    Are you implying Suter is a number 1 defenseman?

  19. JoelLeafs says:

    It's a tough call, but it the Devils can finish up tonight I've gotta give the tender matchup to the kings. Marty looked sloppy last night and Quick has played well after long rests so far this post season. Though really it could go either way with the Rangers. They have played a lot of hockey, but Lunqvist has stolen a game 6 then 7 already this year.

  20. leafmeister says:

    Speaking of Grabo, I have been recently getting pumped about the possibility of drafting Grigorenko. I would move Grabo to the wing, where he may be better suited anyways, and where he would be in the best position to finish off Grigs passes. 

    I think playing with two of the hardest working players, never mind Russians, in the league would be infectious and he would develop a two way game, not unlike Anze Kopitar. 
    If Grigs turns out as good as everyone thinks he can be (90+ point centre) then he would immediately propel Grabo and Kulemin to higher offensive potential than either thought possible. 
    After these playoffs, I now am fully behind throwing assets towards Jordan Staal. A shutdown, gritty, grinder centre who can score is what is working these days. Staal solves a number of issues for this team. 
    Imagine this core top 6
    Kulemin – Grigorenko – Grabovski
    Lupul – Staal – Kessel 
    Solid mix of grit, offensive prowess, defensive ability, determination and leadership. 
  21. blaze says:

    I really don't understand this idea that Grabo would make a better winger. Just because he has a nice shot doesn't mean he's an ideal finisher. Grabo is a puck carrier, he is at his best is when he has the puck a lot on his line. He leads the rush into the offensive zone and down the middle is where his two way play can benefit the most. 

    Don't stick him along the boards where he will be forced into more board play with his small frame. As a center he can use his relentless pick pursuit at both ends and cover the whole ice. His ability to do so is diminished stuck on a wing. 
    Also I think people out way too much stock into Grigorenko becoming this hard working two way player because Grabo is on the team. Maybe over time he could become this, probably not, and Grabo won't be the deciding factor.

  22. reinjosh says:

    Yes I am. 

    At the very least, the idea is to have him play as a settling role beside Phaneuf. Doesn't really matter if he's a 1 or 2 as long as he can play the smooth skating, solid on defense guy that he does for Weber.
  23. reinjosh says:

    That seems like its a little aggressive lol. It's not meant to be just in case you were wondering.

  24. reinjosh says:

    I never really understood it either. I think it largely grew out of the idea that he's small and can't hold his own in a spot that can be dominated by larger centers. I could be wrong but thats where I think the idea came from. 

    And yeah, Grabo should not be a deciding factor in picking Grigorenko. Yes you can hope that Grabo can be a good influence but you don't choose Grigorenko based on that (although I don't think anyone suggested that). Still I want Grigorenko, having him play with Grabo is just added benefit.
    We can become the team filled with Western Canadians, Americans and Russians!
  25. reinjosh says:

    Yeah do you really want to ruin what is right now an absolutely amazing cap position? Parise is a little different than either Richards or Gaborik as he will either be younger or healthy when he signs so it could easily work in their favour. 

    It could happen but I think they need to focus on other elements on the team. No use creating a top heavy team. 
  26. blaze says:

    Ha no I know we're cool. I don't see Suter as a number 1. He's not in Nashville. His perceived value will diminish after his big contract is signed espcially should he be expected to lead a weak to average D core. Having said that he is still a terrific Dman, an ideal number 2 who could fill that number 1 spot for a team in need.

    Despite the hate Phaneuf is a number 1 Dman who also plays with a revolving door of D partners unlike playing with Weber. He brings a physical presence Suter can't. They would be a fanatic pair though.
  27. blaze says:

    I think I kinda took a bit of issue with the claim Kulemin and Grabo being the hardest working players in the league. I mean I like em both too but that's a tad bit of hyperbole there.

  28. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Well, out of the top three-centers of the NY Rangers, New Jersey, Phoenix, and Los Angeles…Only Mike Richards is under 6 feet tall. However, Richards has nearly 20 more pounds on him than Grabo and there is no denying that you choose Mike Richards over Grabo on any day.

    The Boston bruins were huge down the middle…The Blackhawks were not that much smaller but were pretty tenacious down the middle, the Penguins were big as well.

    The questions leifmeister is pointing out is not if Grabo is good enough to make the playoffs, but good enough to last 4 grueling series to win the cup…Does not matter how much skill, hard working, or sound defensively he is…He will be worn down in the playoffs.

    By my small research, he will be constantly facing bigger talent that will hit him. He won't be able to survive.

  29. blaze says:

    What are you talking about? A lot of these center are listed at 6'0 which is really no different than 5'10 and thats excluding the fact how skewed the vast majority of height/weight stats are.

    Richards, Langkow, Stepan, Vermette, Henrique etc arn't getting hit to death but Grabovski will? Please. He'll get pounded along the boards more anyways. When Grabo gets hit he plays  better until he proves he folds in the playoffs to doubt him because of his height listing is beyond foolish.

    Boston was huge down the middle?? With Bergeron (a very generous 6'2 190 pound listing) as your big man? Chicago smaller yet. Size down the middle is good yes but very far from the be all end all.

  30. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Langkow played 4th line center, did not see as much ice time….I calculated the top-3 on each team.

    Like I pointed out, Richards is the same size…But he also has a bigger frame (due to the fact that he is 200 pounds. Vermette, 6'1 and 200 pounds. Brad Richards, also 200 pounds. Henrique, still only 22 years old, is nearly at that point now.

    I was contemplating Stepan, but he is also a rookie and will probably gain more weight as the years go by. Grabo has maxed out 5'11 and not even 185 pounds (listed at 183).

    Some of the smaller centers that won the cup over the years, Crosby and Datsyuk, are two of the best players in the world…Grabo is byfar not in that league.

    At the end of the day, even though they're nearly the same size…These players (except Stepan, who I kind of pushed to the side since he's an incredible talent and still very young) all are way bigger.

    I look to Philadelphia, who were small down the middle and big on the wings. Briere and Giroux were so beaten up after the first series, they pretty much fell apart against a bigger new Jersey team…Especially down the middle (Giroux had 3 points and a -4 in 4 games…Briere's looked a bit better after game 1…But in the next four games that followed, he also had 3 points in 4 games and a -4).

    I'm just suggesting what leifmeisters reasonings are…Because I've had the same concerns.

  31. blaze says:

    Stats blind you as usual. Who cares if their frames are slightly bigger? Grabo can take more of a beating those players.

    I'm assuming you make these Cup run predictions on the notion that all 3 center will be Grabo's size or smaller. If not you're completely out to lunch on this one. Saying that the Leafs could never win if Grabo is in the 2 spot because he is 5'11 is beyond comprehesion.

  32. reinjosh says:

    Haha your preaching to the choir with Phaneuf. I have stuck with him as a number 1 guy and have been one of the guys caliming he still is a number 1. I guess I've been a little embattled so I've sort of conceded he's a number 2 and just assumed we need a number 1. 

    I guess my point was more Suter would be a perfect fit with Phaneuf and give us a legitimate dominant top line. At that point I don't think it really matters who is number 1 or 2 haha. 
  33. reinjosh says:

    I did not even see that. I'm not sure if it was meant as hyperbole or not lol.

    I would say two of the hardest working players on the Leafs, who happen to be Russian. The point largely should be the same with the addendum to change "league" to "team".
  34. reinjosh says:

    I think we were largely looking for solid arguments as to why Grabo on the wing would be more successful than Grabo in the center hole. I don't think either Blaze or I rejected the idea outright (although from my own thoughts I suspect we might be biased to Grabo in the center spot), and wanted to hear solid logic that might sway us. 

    I largely reject the "others do it this way" argument and while I can see your argument isn't totally that, it's bordering pretty close to it. Other's success doesn't determine our own. It can be an indicator but players are different and don't follow others. 
    And really he is going to face the same sort of gruelling pressure on the wing as he does in the center spot so I reject that argument too. Convicne me why he should be moved to the wing. The above argument hasn't done so. 

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