After Patrik Elias made it clear he didn’t want to be named captain of the New Jersey Devils, the Devils made the right move and the best one in naming Zach Parise the ninth captain in Devils history.
Parise earns the “C” after missing most of last season with a knee injury and coming off a summer that saw his contract negotiations run into some problems leading Parise to sign a one-year deal to avoid running into any Drew Doughty-like problems. Joining Parise as the team’s lettered leaders will be Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk as the alternate captains. With Parise set to play in New Jersey this year and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, he’s got a bit more in common with Kovalchuk because of it.
If you’ll recall, Kovalchuk was named captain of the Atlanta Thrashers in January of 2009 as a means to both help make him a leader of the team and to play nice with him as he was due to become a free agent after the 2009-2010 season. Things went south and Kovalchuk was traded to the Devils the following season. The comparisons end there, however as there’s no way Parise gets dealt from New Jersey. If the Devils end up trading Zach Parise at all we’ll pass out from shock.
It also helps that Parise is making it clear that he’s happy in New Jersey and loves playing there. Still, until a long-term extension is worked out the fans will be nervous about Parise’s future in Newark. For now, Devils fans should take pride in Parise for being named captain and be excited about what he’ll be able to do this season being fully healthy. Expect Parise to get back to his 40-goal scoring ways and for the Devils to push for the playoffs once again.