Kings might be interested in Parise if he becomes an UFA

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They’re enemies today, but Zach Parise might end up playing for the Los Angeles Kings next season. Although it’s certainly far from a sure thing, the Kings think they can make a run for Parise, according to Pierre LeBrun’s sources.

Strictly speaking, the Kings should have the salary cap space for it, especially if the cap rises to $70.3 million, as some reports suggest it might. However, what the salary cap will actually end up being will be determined by the next CBA, which might not be decided upon until after July 1. In other words, spending up to the cap now might have consequences later.

In addition to that, the Kings need to keep some cap space free because Jonathan Quick is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2013. He currently comes with a $1.8 million annual cap hit, but he’ll get a substantial raise with his next contract. Although Jonathan Bernier certainly has the potential to become a great starter, re-signing Quick will probably be one of their top priorities.

If we ignore all that, there are still plenty of other teams that will be interested in Parise’s services and that list will likely include the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers – and of course all this speculation will be moot if the New Jersey Devils manage to re-sign him. Still, even with all that considered, the Kings shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible destination for Parise if he hits the free agent market.