Zach Parise’s wish list for his next big contract doesn’t just include a whole lot of money. He also wants to sign on with a team that has a legitimate chance to win a Stanley Cup, as he told Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger.
So let me ask: is that a good or a bad thing for the New Jersey Devils?
The crystal ball really seems kind of fuzzy when it comes to New Jersey’s future. Ilya Kovalchuk’s $100 million contract is an easy source of laughter for cynics, but he seems to be picking up his game a bit. The real concerns lie in the once-sure-thing position of goaltending and the overall depth of the team.
Parise seems to agree that the future is in doubt.
“I think in my situation you have to look down the road,” Parise said. “What’s happened, the lack of us doing well in the playoffs the last few years, is irrelevant. I have to look past that and look at how are we building for the future?”
The catch is that the team might pivot on that very decision. Both goalies (Johan Hedberg and Martin Brodeur) will be unrestricted free agents as well this summer while almost every important forward (including Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac) will see their contracts expire in July 2013. (Check out the full, fuzzy picture here.)
One could imagine that the Devils are going to be willing to pony up for Parise, but if he wants a sure thing, New Jersey might not be the safest choice.