Zach Parise Files: Is the Great Hope Headed to New York?

Please lord, don't send me to New York...

Chewing through a three hour set of sports talk radio that focuses almost purely on hockey takes a few days. Here are, a week later, and we're still talking about Russo hosting last Friday's lunch time segment on KFAN. We've discussed what Kurtis Foster had to say about Zach Parise and what Edmonton Journal beat writer Jim Matheson's idea regarding the CBA this negotiations this summer.

One final thing to not, before Russo hosts again on Tuesday, are Matheson's thoughts on where Parise is going to play next season. Why do we care? Well, some of us don't, but some people out there can't seem to get enough of Parise and his soon to be free agency.

The question facing us today is: Where does logic (at least one man's) put Parise next season.

Asked if Parise winning a Cup means the captian of the Devils would stick around in New Jersey, Matheson had this to say:

Well, they do have some cap room if they want to get rid of [Danius] Zubris and [Patrick] Elias, but they're two fairly top 6 players on their team. To save some money to sign Parise. I mean, the team's in bankruptcy. They've got no money.

I would say the odds are not great that he'd be back with the New Jersey Devils. Even if he likes playing for the New Jersey Devils, and that's the only team he's ever played for... the grass is not always greener somewhere else. But, he's a young player. I can't fathom how the New Jersey Devils can pay him $8 million a year and paying [Ilya] Kovalchuk ten or whatever he's getting.

I agree and disagree here. I agree the Devils would certainly have choices to make, and I do believe that the Kovalchuk signing makes signing Parise that much more difficult. However, we have seen the NHL, and its GMs, do some pretty creative things to make contracts work. I don't see it as a big stretch to see the Devils find a way to get it done.

Maybe I'm just suffering from cognitive dissonance. Yeah. That must be it.

The really interesting part came later in Matheson's thoughts:

In Parise's case... the most logical case... I know he's from Minnesota, JP Parise runs the Shattuck St. Mary's hockey program, he's tight with Lou Nanne, Lou Nanne's tight with everyone with the Minnesota Wild, and blah blah blah... but it would be just as easy for him to move across the river to the New York Rangers, too, if they can't get Rick Nash. If you can't trade for Rick Nash, you just sign Parise. I mean, what's the difference?

Parise is the captain of a hockey team, they're both captains, they're both wingers, you know they can both score goals, and in New York's case, they wouldn't have to give up any contracts.

I like that Matheson brushes off the Minnesota ties. That isn't sarcasm. I'm not buying that there is some sort of strong pull for Parise to sign here just because it is "home." It isn't home. No more than anyone who moved out to go to college, took a job in another city, lived there for seven years and started a family there considers their hometown to be... home.

I would also agree that the Rangers are a logical choice. Heck, Parise wouldn't even need to move. I'm not convinced Parise is the type of guy to switch sides in a rivalry quite as easy as Matheson makes it sound, but maybe. He's a professional hockey player. It's not like there is a law against playing for a rival.

The one issue I have here, and it is a minor quibble to be sure, is that Matheson makes it sound like a forgone conclusion that the Rangers get either Nash or Parise. Maybe he didn't mean it that way, but the line "If you can't trade for Rick Nash, you just sign Parise," makes things sound incredibly simplistic. Neither is a simple thing to get done.

Though, he is right, there is little difference between the two in terms of what they bring to your team, and Parise's opportunity cost is much lower.

All I know is this... if the Rangers get either player, there is going to be a run on tin foil hats across the NHL. Of course, that could be a great deal of fun.

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