Free Agents: Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils

Jonathan Willis
May 03 2012 09:17AM

The New Jersey Devils are in a situation that no team likes to find itself in. Zach Parise’s contract expires this summer, and not only does he look likely to test the market but he also seems a safe bet as the NHL’s most sought-after forward.

2011-12 Cap Hit: $6.0 million.

Position: Right wing.

How the coach used him: Behind the Net shows an interesting situational dynamic for Parise. Devils head coach Peter DeBoer made Parise his go-to choice for tough opponents, but he also tried to get him out in offensive situations – Parise’s 54.2% offensive-zone start number is one of the highest totals on the team. He played 16:05/game at even-strength, 3:26/game on the power play and 1:57 per game on the penalty kill.

How he fared: Parise did a good job of driving the puck forward, albeit not as well as he has in previous years; given his serious injury in 2010-11 it probably isn’t unreasonable to expect further improvements as he returns to his pre-injury form. His even-strength scoring number (2.18 PTS/60) was excellent, the second-highest total on the Devils, but his power play total (2.94 PTS/60) was wretched and well back of his work in previous seasons.

What McKeen’s says: “[G]ifted undersized playmaker with great drive and imagination .. equally dangerous as a shooter and passer, guided by remarkable accuracy .. deceptive skater powered by a wide, bow-legged stride .. agility and overall quickness have steadily improved… success is driven by an exceptional work rate away from the puck .. fearlessly battles in traffic and strives hard to arrive in scoring areas…”

My take: Parise is a high-end NHL player and a legitimate franchise talent. At his best, his two-way game compares favourably to just about anyone in the NHL, and he merges that with exceptional offensive abilities in all situations. He scored 31 goals and 69 points in an off-year for him and it seems entirely plausible that he can get back to his 80+ point level of a few seasons ago.

There’s no question that every team in the league would love to get a hold of him, and if he’s willing to sign at a reasonable dollar figure he can basically name his destination. If he’s looking to cash in, the options will get more limited but some team will send a Brinks truck his way if that’s what it takes.

He’s a phenomenal player with no significant weaknesses who can play a feature role on a Cup-contending team.

Key statistic: With 138 even-strength goals since the lockout, Parise is behind just 10 players in the entire league – and this despite the fact that we’re including his 14-goal rookie season and 2010-11, which he lost to injury, in the equation.

Other Free Agents

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#1 Reg Dunlop
May 03 2012, 10:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

@ John Chambers

Those halcyon days are over but knowing the flames will do that is pure entertainment

Avatar
#2 Ambassador humantorch
May 03 2012, 10:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
John Chambers wrote:

I miss the good old summer days of Kevin Lowe when he would've thrown $81M over 9 years at Parise. We would've collectively been excited about it for three days until it didn't pan out.

I miss the days when we would have drafted him in the first place instead of acting like morons and drafing MAP and JFJ.

Avatar
#3 Alex Sherwood
May 03 2012, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

He's going to stay in Jersey

Avatar
#4 richard
May 03 2012, 09:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

ummmm...fist

Avatar
#5 Dman09
May 03 2012, 09:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
DSF wrote:

Detroit.

I think its anyones guess. Really he could just pick where he would like to go. I imagine every team would offer 6 million+ and if he happy with that then he can pick what ever he wants. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Minny or with the Jets.

Avatar
#6 Nis002
May 03 2012, 09:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
DSF wrote:

Detroit.

Yup and I can see them snagging one of the dmen from Nashville. On a side note that chick who grabbed the catfish with her bare hands was a TRUE CHAMP!!!

Avatar
#7 John Chambers
May 03 2012, 10:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

I miss the good old summer days of Kevin Lowe when he would've thrown $81M over 9 years at Parise. We would've collectively been excited about it for three days until it didn't pan out.

Avatar
#8 Oilers4ever
May 03 2012, 04:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

You better hope the Flames don't do that and succeed. Parise is an awesome player... but with Hall, Ebs, Yaks and RNH all going to be needing contracts through the next 1-3 years, there is no way in hell we can afford him at the 7 mill plus he will command. Better to throw the cash at a dman.. offensive players are not where our issues are...

Avatar
#9 PutzStew
May 03 2012, 06:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Why would you replace Gagner with a better Gagner? You'd be better keeping Gagner and playing him with "2" good line mates....not just Hall...and see what happens. Bet he breaks the 50 point mark with ease.

Avatar
#10 DSF
May 03 2012, 09:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Detroit.

Avatar
#11 Nis002
May 03 2012, 09:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good bait but I think too rich for the Oil's blood. Would rather spend that much on an immediate impact defense "man or men"

Avatar
#12 Joel
May 03 2012, 10:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Great player , before his injury he was a top 15 player in the league.

He probably has 4-5 years left for elite status.

It is unfortunate that he had a bad injury.

Avatar
#13 J-Dogg
May 03 2012, 10:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

If he signs with Detroit I'll probably throw up in my mouth a bit when I hear about it.

Avatar
#14 Will Colford
May 03 2012, 10:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

At last Jay Fester's master plan will come to Fruition as he goes after Parise. Unfortunately, Burke will also make a play for what he sees as his penultimate type of hockey player. The two will jello wrestle for the signing in the most unwatched televised event in history. Once Burke comes out literally and disgustingly 'on top' Parise will sign with the Sharks thus returning San Jose to their dominant form with the one two punch of Thorton and Parise.

I could also see him on the team that symbolizes his under the radar play style, Pheonix. He would fit in perfectly with that system and could make the dessert dogs a deadly team.

If, however, dream of dreams, the Oilers get him, which I don't think they could or even should, then they can trade the number one pick purely for NHL ready top end defense. Yakapov becomes a non-issue, we get badly needed veteran SKILLED leadership, and Hemsky gets pushed down to the third line along with Horcoff and Smyth making it the most overpaid third line in all of hockey. Yet another stellar record for the Oilers to hold. I would actually like to see him come over to the west as he's an exciting player to watch. Here's hoping whatever team he goes to is an exciting move and not your typical, I want to go to the red wings cause I'm old. Someone like Colorado, or Tampa, or Winnipeg. An up and comer that needs someone like this to push them over the top.

Avatar
#15 Doug
May 03 2012, 11:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Man, this is a guy everyone would want. The most underrated part of his game? Awesome at retrieving pucks in the corners and along the boards. Fast, tireless hard work, tenacious on the forecheck. Has played mostly LW with the Devils, but can play at any forward spot.

Dreaming that the Canucks could sign him, but won't be able to afford it. I really see Suter going to Detroit, then Parise going to Minnesota. But, in reality, any team in the league would love to make a spot for him, and the bidding will be tough.

Avatar
#19 Sincity1976
May 03 2012, 11:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I really hope Feaster's plan doesn't revolve around freeing up cap space and signing Parise. Similar to last years master plan of signing Richard's. Parise is out of our reach. If he isn't signed in NJ he likely ends up in Detroit, Boston, Philly, etc.

That said, in my dream world I would love to acquire Parise. He is the kind of guy you can build a franchise around.

He is one of the only players on the market I would be okay with them backing the money trucks up for.

Avatar
#20 Mojo
May 03 2012, 12:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Didn't Parise say he has full intentions of staying with the Devils? The reason he is on a one year is because they wanted to get a deal done before the season started and were going to work on a long term during the year? I dont see him really as a free agent.

Avatar
#21 kittensandcookies
May 03 2012, 12:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Will Colford

Parise is the second worst player in the NHL? Huh, I thought that was Jay Bouwmeester.

Avatar
#22 walkinvisible
May 03 2012, 02:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

this article is so cute !!! anyone who thinks parise is going to the western conference is hilarious.... parise is gonna pick a team with a cushy schedule cause he's a diva.

my thoughts, not yours. i guess we'll see in a couple of months.

Avatar
#23 canuckistanian
May 03 2012, 03:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I just rosterbated all over my keyboard!

Canucks + Suter & Parise = Stanley Cup

Avatar
#24 Graham
May 03 2012, 03:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

As a RW, Parise would only make sense as an Iggy replacement. Since I don't think Iggy will be traded, Parise isn't a fit.

If Parise was a natural center, I might be tempted to throw the kitchen and bathroom sinks into signing him, but even then, I expect it would have to one hell of an offer to tempt him to sign in Calgary.

Avatar
#25 John Chambers
May 03 2012, 03:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Ambassador humantorch wrote:

I miss the days when we would have drafted him in the first place instead of acting like morons and drafing MAP and JFJ.

You were alive when the Oilers were doing that? That was like over a quarter century ago.

Avatar
#26 Bucknuck
May 03 2012, 03:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Ambassador humantorch wrote:

I miss the days when we would have drafted him in the first place instead of acting like morons and drafing MAP and JFJ.

Those days didn't happen until Stu took over.

Avatar
#27 Tayranchula
May 03 2012, 03:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I hate to say it but for some reason I could see the Canucks getting him some way or another.

Canucks make me puke and I really hope this Luongo/Schnieder situation comes back to hurt them. Imagine if they get rid of Luongo and Schneider cant handle a work load of a full time goalie and craps the sheets, or if they get rid of Luongo and Schneider becomes a better goalie. The fans will be all over managment and Luongo might request a trade since he just gets dumped on in Van. I hope I witness the fall of the ever mighty Canucks sooner than later.

But ya Parise is a sick hockey player and would make any team better. Now if only the Oilers got him some how and drafted Murray. FTW

Avatar
#28 MC Hockey
May 03 2012, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Will Colford wrote:

At last Jay Fester's master plan will come to Fruition as he goes after Parise. Unfortunately, Burke will also make a play for what he sees as his penultimate type of hockey player. The two will jello wrestle for the signing in the most unwatched televised event in history. Once Burke comes out literally and disgustingly 'on top' Parise will sign with the Sharks thus returning San Jose to their dominant form with the one two punch of Thorton and Parise.

I could also see him on the team that symbolizes his under the radar play style, Pheonix. He would fit in perfectly with that system and could make the dessert dogs a deadly team.

If, however, dream of dreams, the Oilers get him, which I don't think they could or even should, then they can trade the number one pick purely for NHL ready top end defense. Yakapov becomes a non-issue, we get badly needed veteran SKILLED leadership, and Hemsky gets pushed down to the third line along with Horcoff and Smyth making it the most overpaid third line in all of hockey. Yet another stellar record for the Oilers to hold. I would actually like to see him come over to the west as he's an exciting player to watch. Here's hoping whatever team he goes to is an exciting move and not your typical, I want to go to the red wings cause I'm old. Someone like Colorado, or Tampa, or Winnipeg. An up and comer that needs someone like this to push them over the top.

Ummm, that first paragraph was just weird, were you looking for a different type of website? Perhaps a specialized one? Sooooooo....anyways....now that Czechbeerman (Cerveza or Cervenka) is signed by Flames, no need to overpay for Parise! And nobody goes to Edmonton so that one was easy! Parise to Mnnesota to play in the future Central Conference (although that would be in his second year there).

Avatar
#29 Oilers4ever
May 03 2012, 04:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Oh and there is no hope in H E Double Hockey Sticks he signs with the Jets... he will want to play somewhere with a team that has chances to get to the cup... If the Devils get to the cup final (which they could conceivably do when you have Marty Brodeur in net), I think he resigns in NJ....

Avatar
#30 Wax Man Riley
May 03 2012, 06:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Reg Dunlop wrote:

@ John Chambers

Those halcyon days are over but knowing the flames will do that is pure entertainment

This is gold. Love it, Reg

Avatar
#31 Wax Man Riley
May 03 2012, 06:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Ambassador humantorch wrote:

I miss the days when we would have drafted him in the first place instead of acting like morons and drafing MAP and JFJ.

But Ambassador, we need size. MAP is bigger and tore it up in junior with Crosby! He made Crosby look good. Right?

Avatar
#32 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
May 03 2012, 06:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Wax Man Riley wrote:

This is gold. Love it, Reg

I LOVE IT TOO GUYS

Sorry, my caps lock was on

That is a classic

Avatar
#33 Wax Man Riley
May 03 2012, 06:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
canuckistanian wrote:

I just rosterbated all over my keyboard!

Canucks + Suter & Parise = Stanley Cup

Hahahaa.... got to make it out of the first round before you start claiming cup. what is it, 48 years and counting or so?

Avatar
#34 PutzStew
May 03 2012, 06:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

LOL. Do you get paid by the article Willis? Parise isn't coming here.

Avatar
#35 SmellOfVictory
May 03 2012, 09:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
walkinvisible wrote:

this article is so cute !!! anyone who thinks parise is going to the western conference is hilarious.... parise is gonna pick a team with a cushy schedule cause he's a diva.

my thoughts, not yours. i guess we'll see in a couple of months.

Parise vs Brodie: Never Forget.

Avatar
#36 Bikeit
May 03 2012, 11:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I remember watchinhg him at world Juniors and he dominated. The Flames draft Phaneuf and i am thinking OMG what about Parise. All those idiot scouts don't like him and he drops to like 16th. Pierre Mcguire is incensed that he drops that far and puts a pox on the other NHL teams that missed him and calls them idiots. You could see this kid was money. If the flames scouts had a monkey at the wheel they proably would have drafted him and all that phaneuf history would be not and we would have an elite center.

Avatar
#37 Ambassador humantorch
May 04 2012, 01:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Bucknuck wrote:

Those days didn't happen until Stu took over.

Nah, Barry Fraser had some good years back in the 80s before Sather decided it was ok for him to do his job from in front of his TV in Mexico.

Avatar
#38 Ambassador humantorch
May 04 2012, 01:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
John Chambers wrote:

You were alive when the Oilers were doing that? That was like over a quarter century ago.

Dude, I'm old. You don't get to be an Ambassador if you're still in short pants.

Avatar
#39 FireOnIce
May 04 2012, 01:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Two words:

Yeah. Right.

As much as I'd love to see the Flames roll up to Parise's house with a dump truck full of money and a lifetime supply of chocolate, I doubt he's going to end up in Calgary. Or even Edmonton.

Most likely will be re-signing with the Devils, moving on to Minnesota, or some high profile team such as the Kings or Rangers.

Comments are closed for this article.