Zach Parise has a new contract coming between now and the summer, but it's still up in the air which team signs him to that deal. He could hit the unrestricted free agency market on July 1, or the New Jersey Devils could sign him to a new deal before then.
The big problem there is that the Devils are in financial limbo, and for a player thinking about signing a piece of paper that will anchor him down in one spot for potentially the rest of his career, these sorts of things matter. That's concerning for fans of the Devils and great news for fans of the other 29 teams in the NHL ... or perhaps not.
Parise told the Star-Ledger on Thursday that the financial woes of the Devils organization do not necessarily matter.
"I don't know too much about it," Parise said this morning. "I don't know what's going on behind the scenes. The only thing I've been told is it's not going to make a difference. That's what I'm going on. As far as what's going to happen, I really don't know really anything about what's happening."
Parise has reiterated all year that he wants to sign with the Devils -- he signed a one-year deal with them last offseason -- but contract negotiations have yet to begin. That's obviously fueling the trade deadline rumor mill, but trading Parise at the Feb. 27 deadline seems silly considering the Devils are right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Then again, is securing a No. 7 or 8 seed worth losing a guy of Parise's caliber for nothing in the summer? Devils blog In Lou We Trust says they shouldn't let him go, but the real question is if Lou Lamoriello feels the same way.