The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/24/12 at 09:05 PM ET
On a day when the comments section has gone a little crazy regarding whether the Red Wings should attempt to retain Jiri Hudler’s services, or whether there really is a Zach Parise/Ryan Suter “package deal” in the offing, I’d rather not post this on a night that we don’t have hockey on TV because I hate even thinking about posting an entry that might provoke discussion for the sake of provocation..
But dueling banjos are dueling banjos, and the Pioneer Press’s Tom Powers believes that one Zach Parise has a higher chance of signing with another team if the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan does not.
Here’s Powers’ take on Parise’s desires…
If the Devils do win, I can see goalie Martin Brodeur riding off into the sunset toward the Hall of Fame. Parise, with a championship secured and a ring on his finger, might be a bit more inclined to look at his next job a bit differently. Maybe he’ll be looking for more of a challenge, which he certainly would find here. Maybe a return to his home turf would hold a bit more allure.
There’s going to be fierce competition for his services in any case. If the Rangers do lose to the Devils, it will be because they lack a bit of firepower. It seems as if just about every hockey follower is of the opinion that the Rangers are going to go all out for Parise. The Rangers do have, or will have, enough cap room for a player who will command, say, five years at between $9 million and $10 million per season. Anyone who wants to see where NHL teams stand in terms of the salary cap, incidentally, should check out the terrific website: capgeek.com.
Those New York teams usually get what they want. While the salary cap is the salary cap, the ancillary benefits of being a star in the Big Apple are well documented. Plus, the Rangers are very good. Imagine Parise and Marian Gaborik playing together.
While a dozen teams likely will make a hard run at Parise, one of the more serious suitors will be Detroit. Parise is the prototypical Red Wing: fast, undersized, clutch. The Red Wings, in need of a tune-up after two decades of success, most certainly will go after him.
I’d say those two are the favorites under any circumstances. But the team on which Parise would have the biggest impact, be the best fit, in my opinion is Nashville. The light-spending Predators have more cap room than any organization except Colorado. As important, I think the Predators are a terrific team that is one big-time goal-scorer from greatness. First they have to re-sign defenseman Ryan Suter, a potential free agent who will receive a ton of interest. If they do, the addition of Parise could put them over the top. They have plenty of money for both.
Again, if Parise gets his ring this season, the dynamic could change. Perhaps it could be attractive to him to come home as a conquering hero and join the Minnesota rebuilding process. But he’ll turn 28 in July and is in his hockey prime. He’ll never get another chance to virtually pick from any team in the league. Don’t overestimate the pull of returning home. After all, he can always live here in the offseason if it means that much to him.
Um, the Predators might make a nice “fit,” but financially, they’re in tough just trying to keep restricted free agent Shea Weber in the fold, never mind trying to retain Suter, so there’s no way in hell that they can afford Parise…
And as you might have guessed, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan believes that Parise is more likely to stay with—depending on who you believe—what might very well be an equally cash-strapped, if not downright financially insolvent team if the Devils win a Cup:
With easy passing victory, and being one step closer to a Stanley Cup, the chances of Zach Parise leaving the New Jersey Devils appear that much slimmer.
Why would Parise leave?
If he’s looking for a team that’s a Stanley Cup contender…well, he’s on a team that’s one game away from playing for the Stanley Cup. There’s a good base of talent on the Devils, and management has always done a good job of filtering young talent into the lineup.
The issue of the Devils’ financial problems is valid. But I can’t help but believe the Devils can work around the issue, especially with a significant amount of salary coming off the books.
The Devils are an organization that tend to keep players they want. Parise fits that description, and with each victory, it’s becoming hard to think he’ll reach free agency.
Again, it depends on who you believe, but multiple on-the-record sources suggest that the Devils have ownership problems and serious, serious arena debt issues that may very well prevent them from doing anything other than waving goodbye to Parise this summer.
What do I think that Parise and/or Suter might do? I have no clue whatsoever. All I do know is that the Parise to Detroit rumors started with a, “If you think this July 1st is a big deal, wait until a year from now, when he goes to Detroit,” and they’ve remained persistent, as have the suggestions that Suter will “land” with a bigger-market team. These rumors tend not to persist so very strongly without legs, and they tend to go beyond, “Gee, I think that’d be a great fit or a ‘good story’” levels of journalism.
I’m not a fan of this kind of blatant oogling of other teams’ players while they’re still playing, never mind projecting one beat writer or columnist’s own sports values upon them, so I am most certainly posting this entry with reservations. I don’t like posting stuff just to stir up s***, and this kind of talk genuinely bothers me.
Also of Red Wings-related note this evening: The Wings’ brass will be headed to the NHL’s annual draft combine in Toronto, between May 28th and June 2nd, to gauge the fitness levels of potential draft picks, and NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale outlined the event’s highlights;
• Tomas Jurco’s Saint John Sea Dogs and last night’s Memorial Cup opponent, the Shawinigan Cataractes (the Sea Dogs will face off against the winner of tonight’s Edmonton Oil Kings-Cataractes game in the Memorial Cup semifinal on Friday night), were fined $2,500 apiece for a significant number of shenanigans during Saint John’s 4-1 win on Wednesday, and Yahoo Sports’ Neate Sager discusses the somewhat silly nature of this slap on the wrist;
• And this is plain cool, per Marketwire:
Chris Chelios “Assists” Megan’s Dreams Golf Outing to Benefit Homeless Animals and Young Veterinarians
In Memory of Megan Darr-Soroka, 6th Annual Outing Takes Place at Dearborn Hills
DEARBORN, MI—(Marketwire - May 24, 2012) - Helping to fulfill the dreams of Megan Darr-Soroka, a popular manager at Cheli’s Chili Bar in Detroit, the event contributes to an endowment fund for Michigan State University veterinary students and the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter. Celebrating her life and passion for animals and those who care for them, Megan’s Dreams Golf Outing takes place on Friday, June 8, at Dearborn Hills Golf Course, 1300 S. Telegraph Road. As one of Michigan’s best public golf courses, Dearborn Hills is perfect for all interested golfers, novice and serious alike.
“Former Detroit Red Wing great Chris Chelios serves as honorary co-chair of the event and is joining in the golf festivities with us this year to help round out the day,” comments Tim Keyes, Megan’s Dreams spokesperson. “We welcome all to join Chris and the rest of us to support these two great charities.”
“Collaboration between two nonprofits is key to Megan’s Dreams,” shares Friends Development Director Kelle Sisung. “We’ve come together to create a truly unique outing that stands apart from the rest.” Mr. Chelios provided one of the many unique auction items: a tour for four people of the Red Wings locker room and the opportunity to attend a morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. Golfers will have a chance to bid on this once-in-a-lifetime package throughout the day on the course.
$125 ticket per person includes:
12 noon: Registration
1 p.m.: Shotgun start
BBQ Wings wagon, ice cream stop, and hot dog station
Roving cigar bar sponsored by Le Cigar of Dearborn
Wine tent sponsored by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly
5 p.m.: Drinks, hors d’oeuvres; silent auction starts
6 p.m.: Dinner banquet (open to non-golfers for only $50 )
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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.