Kukla's Korner Hockey
by David Pavlak on 09/08/11 at 05:00 PM ET
Lets call a spade a spade. The Devils need Zach Parise. There is no other way around it. He has become the name assosciated with this franchise after Brodeur began to wear down. Walk around inside the Prudential Center, and you’ll see a majority of the jersey’s of the fans donning his last name. With a one year deal signed this offseason in an effort to avoid arbitration, Parise has moved on step closer to free agency. However, in a recent interview, he has made it clear that he would like to remain in New Jersey, and not take his services to any other club.
After a rough season, the Devils needed a rebound. Parise missed basically the whole season with a knee injury, and now that he is healthy and ready to return, the Devils and their fans will be expecting big things. When you’re missing a guy on the ice with leadership ability, it’s like having a Smore without the marshmallow. Can you still eat it and be okay with it? Yes. Is it missing a key ingredient? Hell yes. That was basically how the Devils season went. A slow start in the beginning of the season prompted an “alright” middle and end to the year. The team was satisfied in the way that they did not finished last in the East like they sat for weeks, but missing a few key ingredients. One being Parise, and the other being playoff hockey. The Devils will look to add both missing pieces to the equation this year.
With Parise back on the ice, it should be a booster for the Devils. He scored 38 goals in the 09-10 season. His goal scoring was missed on the ice. Patrik Elias did take a brunt of the load in the early season, as did Ilya Kovalchuk, but it was just not enough.
Devils fans began panicking when a deal wasn’t being reached this off season to resign their long time hero. Finally, when a deal was reached, more panic ensued about whether or not he would be leaving or not after his initial one year.
Per Dave Lozo of NHL:
On Thursday, Parise talked about the contract and said by no means did he sign the deal thinking it would be a one-and-done situation.
“We talked about both,” Parise said of discussing short- and long-term deals. “Without getting into too much detail with respect to everyone involved, we came down to that and that made the most sense. We said it right after we signed it, that we were going to keep talking. It’s not as if we’re not going to talk until next June 30. We’ll keep going and keep working on it.”
Parise said despite the rumors that he wants to test free agency, he likes playing for and living in New Jersey and would like to stick around.
“I know people’s initial reactions are, ‘Oh, it’s one year and get out of there.’ But that’s not how it went down, that’s not how it worked out. We’ll keep trying to figure it out.”
His answer seemed to be a pretty definitive answer for all the Jersey fans who are worried about Parise making an exit from the Garden State. I don’t see why it would benefit Parise to lie about his current situation if he was truly unhappy. There have been plenty of other player that have voiced their displeasure about contracts and team relationships, and if he was not happy with being with the Devils, and the direction the Devils are headed in, I think he would have heard it in his tone of voice. As he said, he and GM Lou Lamoriello will continue to work to formulate that deal to keep Parise here. He has been one of the most consistent and exciting players to wear the Devils uniform, and I look forward to seeing him stay in the red and black sweater for some time.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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