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Is a Hurricanes-Red Wings bidding war for Zach Parise on the horizon?

I believe it was the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James who suggested that someone like Jiri Hudler could earn “Martin Lapointe money” as an unrestricted free agent this summer because the UFA class of 2012 is so thin that extreme overpayment is all but guaranteed for anybody who can score, and along the, “Jeremy Jacobs decided to give Martin Lapointe $5.25 million a year because he was pissed off at Mike Ilitch for being called cheap at a Board of Governors meeting” line of thinking, it seems less than coincidental that one of Ilitch’s business rivals here in Metro Detroit may end up engaging in a bidding war for this summer’s biggest free agent prize.

Via the QMI News Agency, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Luke DeCock reports that the Carolina Hurricanes have two specific targets this summer: either Zach Parise via free agency or Jordan Staal via trade:

For the first time, the Hurricanes have identified a first-line caliber winger to play with Eric Staal as their top priority. One could argue a No. 1 defenseman is a more pressing need, but let’s not quibble. It’s taken them so long to acknowledge that Staal has been held back by sub-par linemates that one should never discount such progress.

General manager Jim Rutherford has declared that owner Peter Karmanos is willing to spend the money, and a not-too-subtle whispering campaign has identified New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise as the No. 1 target. For good reason: He’ll be 28 at the beginning of next season, in the heart of his career, a no-question-about-it All-Star who will command top value if he hits the free-agent market – and the Devils, with financial and ownership issues, may let that happen.

The Hurricanes won’t be the only team going after Parise. Anyone with the money to spend will make a run, and that includes the Detroit Red Wings. Just because the Hurricanes have money to spend for once doesn’t automatically mean they’ll get the guy they want.

If they can’t land Parise, the Hurricanes may wait a year in the hope Jordan Staal hits the market when his contract expires in 2013, or try to make a trade before then if the Pittsburgh Penguins decide they can’t or won’t re-sign him.

Jordan Staal is an elite two-way center, the kind that doesn’t come along often for small-market teams, but nothing should preclude getting a winger for his brother. If the Hurricanes have the money to spend on Jordan Staal, they need to find more money to spend on a first-line winger.

Continued with admitted speculation from DeCock regarding “alternates” in Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash or Jarome Iginla.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


NIVO's avatar

i think the canes go after Jordan. Eric has a ton of pull down there, its only fitting.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 05/01/12 at 01:38 AM ET


Praise has said that a chance to win is just as important as money.  With parise,bwhich roster is better Det or Car?  Clearly Detroit.

Posted by 11B3PF7 in MN on 05/01/12 at 01:43 AM ET

Speedy's avatar

DeCock is a shill for the Canes,his thinking is unrealistic at times.but Karmanos has influence

Posted by Speedy on 05/01/12 at 01:44 AM ET


Parise has also said, repeatedly, he wants to stay in New Jersey.  But nobody seems to listen.

Posted by RC on 05/01/12 at 02:12 AM ET


Det. is in decay, the hockey team too. Parise won’t choose either.

Posted by Kram from bk on 05/01/12 at 02:14 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

1. Never let the truth get in the way of a good fantasy, especially when it comes to free agents. Isn’t that a journalistic rule or something? It’s entirely possible, if not probable, that both Parise and Ryan Suter will stay where they are.

2. Why do people not understand this equation?

Detroit is a city of approximately 750,000 people, but there are another 4-4.5 million people who live *around* the city of Detroit, in richly diverse suburbs that go from blue-collar to filled with millionaires. We have a ridiculously rich melting pot of cultures, fantastic food, art, music, things to do, places to party, places to shop, “parks” and many places where so many former NHL players choose to settle once they’re done playing that the Red Wings’ Alumni team ices two or three rosters, and half of their players never suited up for the Wings but were either born in Michigan or consciously chose to settle here.

Yes, the city of Detroit has been “in decay” since the 70’s, and it’s not hit the bottom yet, but half of Michigan’s population lives within an hour’s drive of Detroit, and the vast majority still see the burned-down, half-deserted chunk of city at the center of a small state-sized metropolitan area to still be its heart and soul.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/01/12 at 02:39 AM ET


Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/01/12 at 12:39 AM ET

Well said, George.

Many of us Michiganders who didn’t live in Detroit still consider it a cultural/spiritual home of sorts. It was once a beautiful city, full of promise. The decay saddens us, but we hold out hope for a renaissance one day.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 05/01/12 at 03:36 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

My internet service provider has been down all night and remains out this morning AA the company is upgrading their server software. I’m sorry to report by my cell phone that I cannot pen an overnight this morning. :(

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/01/12 at 08:55 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Det. is in decay, the hockey team too. Parise won’t choose either.

Posted by Kram from bk on 05/01/12 at 12:14 AM ET

Then I assume you have another landing spot?  Because NJ seems to be out of the question…

Posted by Primis on 05/01/12 at 09:09 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I just don’t see the Wings getting Parise or Suter. I’m thinking Holland and Yzerman are going to work some magic and rock a couple three team deals. At least that’s what my dream last night was about.

And about The D: My wife grew up there. Her parents came from Poland and set up shop in Detroit. Recently her dad left Hamtramck to move back to Poland so we don’t get to visit as often but when we do it’s nothing but a great time. I absolutely love downtown Detroit and if’n I was younger (and single) I would seriously think about snatching up a $1 house and ploppin’ my big arse down there. Mmmm…. Slows BBQ

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/01/12 at 10:42 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, thanks for the things you said about Detroit. 

As for Suter and Parise - given their respective teams’ advance to at least the second round of the playoffs, I’ve got to believe their teams will try hard to keep them.  So it may simply come down to a bidding war, and we know that there’s only so high that Holland will be willing to go.  It will be interesting for sure.

On a completely different topic, has there been any more news/discussion about possible realignment?  I was thinking last night that if the Western Conference final ends up being Phoenix/LA, maybe the league no longer needs the Red Wings to be in the Western Conference to shore up attendance in those cities…

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 05/01/12 at 11:24 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

On a completely different topic, has there been any more news/discussion about possible realignment?  I was thinking last night that if the Western Conference final ends up being Phoenix/LA, maybe the league no longer needs the Red Wings to be in the Western Conference to shore up attendance in those cities…
Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, now in Flori-duh on 05/01/12 at 09:24 AM ET

On Ask Gary Bettman (HNIC), which by the way is a TERRIBLE call-in show and they are really good at screening phone call and not too many “Bettman haters” get through but it is a train wreck none the less so I listen, that question was asked and he said they’d still like to go forward with it and it’ll prolly be in the next collective bargaining agreement. Probably won’t take place next year though. This is all according to the awesome one who is Mr. Bettman.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/01/12 at 11:35 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

This is the same issue I have raised, just because we think we’d like to add someone does not mean they want to leave where they are.  NJD will have $22M to sign 8 or 9 players, so they’re not totally ruled out from a cap standpoint.  Wings will have up to $20M to sign 5 or 6, slightly better shape.  Carolina has $20M to sign 4. (using current cap numbers).

Vinny has a $10M salary.  $10M!

Do we expect the Wings to go stratosphere on Parise, or on anyone?  Hanks salary is $7.75M with a lower cap hit, what would be the maximum you would pay or think the Wings shoud pay for Parise, 1 player?  Whatever it is, there are teams who will pay more.

It is not the Wings style to win an out of control bidding war, especially when a top D man or two are needed.  In fact it could be considered irresponsible and reckless not knowing what restrictions may blow up in the next CBA.

Posted by RWBill on 05/01/12 at 12:20 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Parise is a great player, and I am sure he would help the Wings, but he is a little guy, and the Wings just will not suddenly become competitive by adding a lightweight to their top 2 lines.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 05/01/12 at 12:41 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

I still think Detroit will focus on the defense first.

Posted by TheFreak on 05/01/12 at 12:52 PM ET

DocF's avatar

I sincerely feel that Suter will go nowhere.  Nashville will move heaven and earth to keep their two defensive anchors.

The same is not true of Parise, however.  I am thinking, though, that folks are over-rating him.  He has looked just a bit better than ordinary in the playoff games I have seen.

Nevertheless, it is entirely likely that Carolina will be a serious contender for Parise.  Jim Rutherford seems to have a green light to spend to make the team better. 

And, while I do believe they may well wait for Jordan Staal, I also see a team that needs to have the current Staal play up to his potential.  For that matter, Jordan is still more potential than delivered product.  He is too good for a third line center, but has not been much of a producer as a second line center. 

You know, the guy the Red Wings really need is going to be cut loose at the end of the year by Washington.  That would be Mike Knuble.  He will come cheap, he would be coming home, and he lives just down the road in Kentwood.  Can you say Dallas Drake with size, boys and girls?


Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 05/01/12 at 01:22 PM ET


Knuble would be an OK addition, but instead of Parise?  Doesn’t really address their very pressing need for a top six forward.  At all.

Posted by Garth on 05/01/12 at 02:10 PM ET

awould's avatar

That would be Mike Knuble.

Please no. He’s very close to 40 years old. Unless it’s just for one year until Staal becomes UFA if they don’t add Parise now.

Parise is a natural goal scorer. And at 5’11”, 195 lbs he’s the same size as Datsyuk and Zetterberg. He’s bigger than Claude Giroux, Ray Whitney, Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis. And he’s played in a mostly defensive-oriented system in NJ. Before this year, he averages 0.75 pts per game in the playoffs, the same as Datsyuk. He’d be a great addition to the team.

As far as Suter staying in Nashville, I don’t see how. Most of what I read says all the right things about how he’d like to stay there, he loves it, blah blah blah. But mostly what he wants to do is win. Right now they have the best team they’ve ever had. And they have a lot of guys coming up for contracts, many who will get raises. They might lose to Phoenix, which is definitely not a sure thing, but is looking probable. Right now PHX has a 2-0 lead and is given better odds of winning the West Conference than Nashville. So if Nashville loses in round 2 with the best team they’ve ever had, why would Suter take less money to stay there just so Nashville can maybe stretch things and at best keep this team?

Right now, they have about $32,150,000 of cap space with 14 players to sign. If you just gave everyone a 5% raise, they’d be over the cap without even factoring in Suter’s salary, which will be significant. And a 5% raise isn’t realistic for more than a couple of the players. So it’s clear they’ll lose some players, probably one of the Kostitsyn brothers, Radulov or Gaustad. And they also have to worry about the FA in 2013, which includes Fisher, Hornqvist and Roman. For them to keep a team that is close to as good as they are now would require them to get some hometown discounts from a few players and make some really savvy deals to plug the holes of the guys they get rid of. And all of this is assuming the cap doesn’t decrease.

Even adding Parise, Detroit has a ton more flexibility than Nashville because adding Suter will likely be replacing a high salary player who is already leaving through a combination of Lidstrom, Hudler, Holmstrom and Stuart. The fine line for Holland won’t be finding space for salary in the 12/13 season, it will be leaving room for the 13/14 and 14/15 teams to sign Filppula, Nyquist, Miller, White and most importantly Datsyuk and Howard. I imagine if Filppula doesn’t improve on this past ‘breakout’ season, he’ll be traded before March 2013; he really hurt his prospects by doing nothing in the playoffs.

Posted by awould on 05/01/12 at 02:32 PM ET


I wonder why no one has discussed the possibility of the Rangers getting in on this. They have the cap space ($16 mil, with the only noteworthy FA being Del Zotto and a back-up for Henrik), and if they decide the price for a Rick Nash is too steep…

Plus, stealing Parise away from Lou would likely give every Rangers fan a boner for the rest of their lifetime.

I’ll never forget how excited they were to swipe Holik, despite the warnings from everyone else how it was going to end (”$7 mil for a third line, checking C?!? Yeaaaa, ok….”)

Posted by Chris M on 05/01/12 at 02:47 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

After Andrei and Rads got caught out visiting the local watering holes at 4AM in Scottsville , without Sergei, Oh my, I think Trashville would have trouble convincing Avery to come and play there!  Nice signings Preds.  Does this surprise anyone? Andrei/Sergei/Rads = No Cup and No Suter

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 05/01/12 at 03:28 PM ET


Jersey can’t afford him. He’s going to Detriot or Boston. One or the other. Both are very strong teams for years to come, have the cap space. And win.

Posted by Christopher from Las Vegas on 05/01/12 at 04:52 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Posted by Vladimir16 on 05/01/12 at 09:35 AM ET

Thanks for the answer to my realignment question!

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 05/01/12 at 05:19 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’d rather live in Detroit than Jersey.

I think all this focus on centers in the free agent market with regards to the Wings is a bit myopic.  The wings need better wingers on the top 6, we’re deep at center.  Not to mention we’ll need to add another defenseman.  If we buy a center this summer, it would be a pretty dumb move.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 05/01/12 at 05:52 PM ET

squirrely's avatar

*#$%@& You! Jersey is a beautiful place!  Take a ride outside of the airport/parkway and you would know better than to say that.  Might not be as picturesque as the Rocky Mts or Hawaii, but we’ve got a little bit of everything and it’s close to basically anything you could want, beaches, mountains, cities.  We’ve got it all, bums too!

Posted by squirrely from Dirty Jersey on 05/01/12 at 06:56 PM ET


Red Wings/ Leafs confirmed on HBO 24/7 leading up to the Winter classic.

(provided a new CBA is worked out and ratified).

Posted by dca from in Mich on 05/01/12 at 07:34 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Poking Jersey folks with a stick is so fun.  (I should know, I have a lot of friends from there.)

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 05/02/12 at 04:14 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.