The Devils’ financial problems on top of Zach Parise being eligible to become a free agent after the season has a lot of fans and team executives wondering if the Devils will trade the star forward.
According to Mark Everson of the New York Post, the Devils won’t be entertaining any trade possibilities for their team captain.
Sources say inquiring general managers are getting the word Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is not dealing unrestricted free agent-to-be Zach Parise before the NHL’s Feb. 27 trade deadline.
Instead, it is thought if the Devils do not want to re-sign Parise in June, they’ll trade his rights to a team that wants an advance shot at negotiations before he becomes free July 1.
If Everson’s sources are right (and you never know with these things) then Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will be living on the edge in figuring out what to do with their young superstar.
Trading Parise’s rights before July 1 should he not sign an extension or wind up dealt before then means the Devils may not get as much in return for him. If the Devils put Parise up for trade before the trade deadline, Lamoriello would likely have his choice of huge offers for the stud winger.
It takes two to tango and some teams may not want to risk prospects or players for a guy that may not sign with them when free agency arrives. The Devils then run the risk of losing Parise for nothing, something that won’t help out a franchise that’s surrounded by bad financial news.
While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.
Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Jimmy Hayes–Ryan Spooner–Brett Connolly
Chris Kelly–Joonas Kemppainen–Zac Rinaldo
The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.
So, where is Krejci’s game now?
Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.
So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?
On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.
So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?
“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks