Zach Parise’s situation in New Jersey is a fascinating one. He’s the team captain and his contract is up after this season and would make him an unrestricted free agent if the Devils don’t sign him to an extension.
Things might be getting a bit more interesting for the Devils, however, as Mark Everson of the New York Post has a source saying that Parise doesn’t want to be distracted by contract talk with the playoffs approaching.
Parise, who brings a seven-game point streak into this afternoon’s visit by the Panthers, yesterday was silent regarding his upcoming contract. Before clamming up, however, he said he remains open to re-signing with the Devils during the season.
But sources say he’s “hockey first” right now, not wanting such a major distraction as negotiations, if possible. That means not discussing his contract status with the media, either.
“I’m not talking about that any more,” Parise said.
It’s a report from an anonymous source so keep that in mind before freaking out.
That said, if it proves to be true that Parise doesn’t want to talk contract with the Devils during the season, that makes the offseason a bit more daunting for the Devils. GM Lou Lamoriello would rather not have to trade his team’s superstar forward, but if negotiations go poorly he might have to before Parise hits free agency on July 1.
That’s a long way off and reports were always meant to be disproved.