Since watching the Wild has been boring and depressing recently, I would like to think about something else. How about Zach Parise? I know the Hockey Wilderness team did a post recently about the Wild's chances to sign Parise or Suter during the offseason (link here), but I wanted to expand the post to look at which other teams Parise might sign with.
Now I know that the only person who knows where Parise will sign next year is Zach himself. But that won't stop me from speculating! So while I am avoiding work, I thought it would be fun to give each team that might sign Parise a percent chance of signing him. By the way, if you have any ideas to improve this post, lemme know and I'll edit it!
To do this, I started by taking a look at each team's cap space this year on Capgeek. I eliminated any team which is currently close to the salary cap, thinking that even if they have a lot of contracts off the books next year, they will be focused on re-signing their own talent. So Philly, Calgary, Vancouver, Washington, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal and Toronto are out of the running. Then I did the opposite and looked at teams that are currently close to the cap floor right now (figuring they also don't have the cash for a big contract). This eliminated Colorado, New York Islanders, Dallas, Carolina, Nashville, Ottawa, Winnipeg, St. Louis, and Phoenix (duh!).
Then I went through the list of team's left, and gave each team a rating out of 10 in the following categories: the team's financial Ability to pay Parise's salary, the attractiveness of the city / climate, how much the Team needs Parise and how well he would fit in their roster, and how good the team is. Let's get to the results!
Ability to Pay: Questionable. Capgeek has their projected cap space at $20M for next season, but rumors on the street are that the team has cash flow issues, in which case they might not be able to spend to the cap. Other than Parise, both NJ goalies are UFAs next year, so they will have to spend at least $4-5M in net. Kovalchuk's $6.7M cap hit and Zidlicky's $4M a year (What were they thinking?!) do not help matters. The Devils get a 5/10 - they could maybe swing a big contract, but it'd be tough.
Location attractiveness: Location of this. Need I say more? 3/10
Team need / fit: Parise fits nicely onto their top line with Kovalchuk and Henrique. His two-way play fits their defense-first system perfectly. 9/10
Quality of Team: The Devils are a pretty good team - in the past five years they have finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 4th in their division - the fourth place finish coming when Parise only played 13 games. That said, I don't see them having the depth to make a deep playoff run. 7/10
Parise Possibility Points = 23 + 5 hometown points (he's played for NJ his whole NHL career) =28
Ability to Pay: The Rangers have a history of bringing in superstar free agents. But with the amount of money they have tied up in Gaborik, Richards, Dubinsky, Callahan, and Lundqvist, it would be a stretch for them to sign Parise as well. 2.5/10
Location attractiveness: New York, New York! A center of culture - lots to do, lots to see. It is crowded and expensive (but would this matter if you made $8 million a year?) 7.5/10
Team need / fit: Despite having the best record in the Eastern Conference this year, the Rangers are only 11th in the NHL in scoring. They're also know for a stingy defense, so I'd have to say Parise would fit great. 9/10
Quality of Team: The Rags are for real. They're a talent-filled team that's primed for a good playoff run, and the most important players on the team are all signed for at least a year or two. 8/10
Parise Possibility Points = 27
Ability to Pay: The Sharks also have signed a lot of free agents in their time, but Capgeek has their payroll next year at $55 Million, and they have about 10 guys that will be UFAs/RFAs. Plain and simply, the Sharks can't afford Parise. 0/10
Parise Possibility Points =0
Would YOU go here if you were Parise? I'll move on...
Ability to Pay: The Lightning are projected to have $17M in cap space next year and have shown a willingness to spend under new ownership and Yzerman as GM with $30M in a recent stadium renovation... looks like they have the ability to offer a big contract if they want to 9/10
Team need / fit: The Lightning play a trap similar to the Devils where Parise would be right at home, but they need some serious help on D and in net. I have to think they will go after D-men and Goalies first this offseason... 4/10
Quality of Team: The Lightning won a cup back in 2004 with Tortorella as coach, and then descended into mediocrity. They went on a great run to the conference finals last year, but came back to earth this year and are currently 10 points out of a playoff spot. Kinda an inconsistent team - I'll give 'em 5/10
Parise Possibility Points = 28
Ability to Pay: Doubtful - $55M already signed against the cap next year with multiple roster holes to fill. 2/10
Location attractiveness: Low. 2/10
Team need / fit: Low... with Kane, Toews, Hossa, Sharp, and Bolland all signed for a while, the 'Hawks biggest need right now is on D. 2/10
Quality of Team: Won a cup in 2010 but then lost a lot of their depth players that helped them do it. Still have a pretty solid core, though, and I expect them to be in the playoffs every year for a while. 7/10
Parise Possibility Points =13
Can't afford Zach. Moving on...
Ability to Pay: Now we're talking! Through solid roster management and Lidstrom's impending retirement (I assume he will finally retire...), the Wings are projected to have $20M in cap space next year. Now, this is not including new contracts for Brad Stuart, Kyle Quincey, Jiri Hudler, Filppula, Helm and Abdelkader. But even after re-signing them I expect the Wings to have at least $9-10M in cap space. I give the Wings an 8/10
Team need / fit: An all-star two-way center on the Wings? No way. 9/10
Quality of Team: The Wings are perennial contenders. With the possible exception of the Canucks, it doesn't get any better than this. 10/10
Parise Possibility Points = 31
Ability to Pay: I'm not sure....the Ducks don't spend to the cap, but they should have some extra cash next year if Selanne retires. Capgeek has them at $23M in cap space next year, but they will have 9 UFAs. That's a lot of players to sign in addition to Parise. I'll give the Ducks 3/10
Location attractiveness: Uh-huh........ why am I not living there right now? 9/10
Team need / fit: He could be the replacement for Selanne, but Anaheim is already pretty set on their top line. 5/10
Quality of Team: Eh, the Ducks are ok. Everyone knows their first line is insane, but their depth goes to shit after the second line. 5/10
Parise Possibility Points = 22
Our Very Own Minnesota Wild
Ability to Pay: Oh, indeed. Capgeek projects the Wild to have $18M in cap space next year with about 12 UFA/RFAs. Here's to hoping the Wild don't sign half of those bums.... anyway, the Wild should still have over $10M in cap space to go after Parise after signing their RFAs. 9/10
Location attractiveness: Hmmmmm......... it does get cold here, I can't lie. But Parise grew up here, playing Midget hockey in Faribault. The Wild will have to try to play up some nostalgia, and also the fact that people here love their hockey. 8/10
Team need / fit: What team could need a scorer more than the 30th place team in goals per game? You know the Wild will go hard after Parise. 10/10
Quality of Team: I'll have to try to take off my homer glasses...... the Wild are not good. We haven't qualified for the playoffs in 3 years, and we are about to complete a historic collapse that took us from 1st in the NHL down to 25th. That said, a lot of this year's collapse was due to injuries. Also, the prospect pipeline is good and the trend should be positive after this year, but most of the prospects are still a year away from the NHL... I give the Wild a 4/10
Parise Possibility Points = 31
Ability to Pay: Here's another team I'm not sure about. Until recently, the Panthers were a cap floor team, until last year they went on a spending spree that had them acquiring the likes of Campbell, Versteeg, Fleischmann, Wolski, and others. This year they had about $8.5 Million in unused cap space, and they are actually winning their division right now (though with only 74 points). They have salary cap space, but I think like the Lightning they do not have a lot of cash. 5/10
Location attractiveness: Yep. That looks especially nice when there's a fucking shit-ton of ice everywhere in Minneapolis. 9/10
Team need / fit: Florida's 24th in goals per game. I'd say they could use him. 8/10
Quality of Team: Not great, not awful. 5/10
Parise Possibility Points =27
Final Scores and % Chances each team signs Parise!
New Jersey -28 = 13.6%
New York -27 = 13.1%
Tampa -27 = 13.1%
Chicago -13 = 6.3%
Detroit -31 = 15%
Anaheim - 22 = 10.6%
Minnesota - 31 = 15%
Florida - 27 = 13.1%
And finally, what do you think?