Today, in his first conversations since losing out to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals, Zach Parise decided to talk a bit about his future. With the questions swirling, he was bound to have to talk at some point. Now that the season is over, that time is now. What he said will ruffle some feathers, soothe some others, and will only bolster the dreams of others.
Back when we first started discussing Mr. Praise here at Hockey Wilderness, here is what I had to say about the idea of Parise signing with the New York Rangers:
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.
What did Parise say today that may have killed the hope of Rangers fans?
As you may have already seen on the major hockey sites, Parise told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record there is "no way" he (Parise) would sign with the Rangers. Here is the proof:
Devils captain Zach Parise repeated today his desire to re-sign with the team and said even if he does hit the unrestricted free agent market on July 1 there is "no way" he'd sign with the rival Rangers.
"I like the people here," he said of his remaining a Devil."I like the staff, my teammates. I like the area. There's a lot of good things about this place."
Parise was asked twice about the idea of signing with the Rangers and shot it down both times.
"Don't try to get a headline out of it," he warned.
Yeah. There's no headline there. Not in the greater NYC area...
Parise went on to say that he cannot imagine playing for another organization, his head coach, Peter DeBoer bolstered the Devils chances to re-sign him, that being the captain was something that may sway his decision, and that no contract talks had been going on that he knew about. He also spoke about next season as though he were going to be in New Jersey.
You know what? Just go read the article. It's good stuff if you are caught up in this mess.
What does it mean for Wild fans? Well, about as much as Joey Logano winning a race, or I'll Have Another backing out of the Belmont. Words are just words. Parise could still sign with the Rangers (though I still don't see it), or he could sign in Detroit. He could sign here. He could sign in Edmonton.
No. He won't sign in Edmonton.
The point is, until his name is inked on the dotted line, none of this matters. Lou Nanne has insight, JP Parise keeps being asked about his son, rumors out of Detroit insinuate both players have already agreed to sign there, we are mocking the whole process... none of it matters.
If he signs with the Devils before July 1, everyone looks dumb. If he gets to unrestricted free agency on the 1st, we all have a reason to watch TSN. Other than that, keep breathing in and out.
Unless, of course you're a Rangers fan. In which case, feel free to shoot a pillow or something.