Kukla's Korner Hockey
by David Pavlak on 08/03/11 at 12:21 AM ET
The Devils were able to sit back and let out of a sigh of relief the other day. Zach Parise, their always reliable left-winger was signed to a one-year deal. This also means that the Devils and Parise will not have to enter an arbitrational hearing. During this upcoming season, the Devils will be doing their best to sign him to a long term contract to keep him in a Devils sweater.
Parise is an overlooked member of this New Jersey Devils team. The injury to his knee, which required surgery, limited him to 13 games, and it seemed as if everyone forgot he was around, or still a member of the team. Sure, you had Ilya Kovalchuk and his one-hundred million dollar contract and Brodeur’s timeless goaltending abilities to still gaze upon, but Parise has been the heart and soul of this team for many seasons, and his numbers will prove to you how this is true.
From the 2005 to 2009 season, Parise missed three games. In his first full season with the Devils in 05’ he finished with 32 points. The next season he accumulated 62 points. Nearly double the amount of points from one season to the next. His best season came in 08’ where he finished with 94 points. For a player who to me seems overlooked, these numbers should tell everyone different. Not to mention, Parise hustles to every puck, and is not afraid to stand in front of the net to try to screen a goalie. The Devils would be foolish to see Parise go if they cannot agree on a multi-year deal within this coming season. Oh yeah, did I mention he is still only 27? He has plenty of good years left in the tank. With the un-Devils like season that the team just endured, they need the big names ready and healthy to play in the Prudential Center this year to draw the crowd back inside.
The pieces of the puzzle are there for the Devils. They have a reliable, but aging goalie in Brodeur, forwards with the ability score at the drop of a hat in Kovalchuk and Elias, and a reliable blue line lead by workhorse Andy Greene. With the addition of Parise back into the lineup, the Devils have the ability to enter back into the playoff hunt. The Devils also have a wildcard in Adam Larsson, their number four overall pick in this year’s draft. If he is NHL ready this year, that only further benefits the team. If he needs a season or two in Albany, that won’t hurt either.
Let me know what you think. How do you view Parise in the Devils organization?
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