FanPost

Zach Parise?

This does not rate a full article.  I'm not even sure it rises to the level of a half-baked rumor.  It's more like hockey fanfic.  But here goes...

From the Ottawa Sun:

Devils LW Zach Parise, out the past three months following knee surgery, hopes to return to play in the next month.

But will he do it in a New Jersey uniform?

Parise, a pending restricted free agent who has a $3.25-million US cap hit, is expected to play before the end of the season and if he goes on the trade block at the deadline, there will be several contenders interested.

Parise will play a handful of games before the end of the season. If he isn’t in the playoffs, he could play for the U.S. at the world championship.

Parise, who can become a UFA in the summer of 2012, could simply decide to sign a one-year deal with the Devils or make it impossible for the club to sign him to try and force a trade.

The Kings have been trying to acquire a forward with Parise’s skill set since last summer, when they missed out on Ilya Kovalchuk.

If C Marc Savard (concussion) is lost to the Bruins for the rest of the season, they would have the cap space to take a run at Parise if New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello decides to put the winger on the market.

While trading Parise might seem crazy, the Devils have cap woes to deal with.

OK.  First off, I don't care how absurd it sounds: the idea of Parise playing in Boston just gave me a woody. 

Second, ESPN Insider theorizes that a price of Blake Wheeler and three first round picks (one of which would obviously be the Toronto pick) might make the Devils think about it.  Heck, they wouldn't need Savard's LTIR space to make that work. 

Third, the cap room would be there after the season if they're willing to wave goodbye to Recchi, Ryder and Stuart, UFAs all.  (Maybe they could resign Recchi for a vet minimum with incentives, if he wants to come back.)  Easier still if they got the Devils to take Paille as part of a deal, or if the cap goes up a bit, which it should.  As a RFA, Parise would still be paid less than his full value (RFAs usually sign for about 80-85% of UFAs).  So something like 3 years, $18 million might appeal to him as getting him back on the market in time to cash in on a big contract.

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