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.