Zach Parise

And with that, the Zach Parise watch begins — though he’s not ready to discuss it


With the Devils’ postseason run complete, the focus in New Jersey now shifts to Zach Parise.

The 27-year-old is on the verge of unrestricted free agency at a remarkable time. He’s notched five 30-goal seasons since the lockout, captained his team to the Stanley Cup finals and is regarded as one of the league’s most relentless and tenacious players.

Ergo, Parise is gonna get paid this summer.

Of this, there is no question. Wherever, whenever and with whomever Parise agrees to terms, it’ll  involve many dollar signs. NHL GMs have been told they’ll operate under a temporary $70.3 million salary cap when July 1 hits, and if the David Jones/Colorado contract was any indication — $16 million for a 27-year-old with 67 career goals, a surgically-repaired ACL and several visits to his coach’s doghouse — spending is going to be wild.

So it stands to reason the future will be very exciting for Parise.

He just wasn’t ready to discuss it following Monday’s gut-wrenching loss.

ESPN New York’s Katie Strang said Parise was “visibly upset” after the 6-1 defeat before uttering “I’m not talking about that,” in response to queries about his future.

One guy that did talk about Parise’s future was New Jersey’s elder statesman, Martin Brodeur. The 40-year-old goalie said his potential return won’t hinge on Parise’s decision to stay or leave the Devils, but did say Parise is GM Lou Lamoriello’s biggest priority this offseason.

“He’s a great captain,” Brodeur said.

No arguments there.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?