Free agent forward Zach Parise appeared on Josh Rimer's "Nitecap" show on Tuesday night and dropped some interesting nuggets — and perhaps some clues — about his NHL future.
Among the highlights:
ON FREE AGENCY
"I think it's been much more than I anticipated it to be. It's been much more stressful. No one wants this to be dragging out. If anyone knows me … I don't want this to be in the media, getting all that attention. It's way more in-depth than I had anticipated."
"It's a life-changing decision. You work hard as a player to put yourself in a good situation to make decisions, and I appreciate everyone's patience. You hope that people understand that it's not something that, on July 1, you can make that decision at 1 or 2 o'clock on that same day. You gather together all the information, break it down from every possible angle, and then you go from there. You figure out what's the best possible fit for yourself and your family. You're going to spend, hopefully, the rest of your career there."
ON PARISE AND THE LEAFS
"In all fairness to everybody, I don't feel comfortable discussing that stuff. If you want to ask them, they can tell you. I just don't think it's fair to talk about who did or who didn't [make an offer]."
ON THE LIST OF TEAMS
"Again, I'd like to keep that personal as well, with respect to the teams involved. You entertain the offers from teams that you're interested in, and you say 'no' to some teams that you're not interested in."
ON DEVILS RE-SIGNING BRODEUR AND SALVADOR
"I've been in contact with Lou twice, three, sometimes four times a day through this whole thing. It's great to see those guys come back. I'm very good friends with all of them, and we had a pretty special year last year. To see those guys get extended for two, three years, they all deserve it and I'm happy for them."
ON WHO HAS BEEN PITCHING HIM
"I think the neatest part is that you hear from a lot of players. You have a lot of friends throughout the league, that's for sure, but you hear from a lot of captains from a lot of teams that want to offer advice or answer questions. They've all been really good and helpful. They all just want to give you information. ... They've been really helpful. Things like that make a big difference."
ON RYAN SUTER
"We've talked. Ryan and I are friends. We've definitely talked throughout this thing. With respect to everyone involved, I'm not going to disclose anything on his behalf, but we've definitely spoken through this thing."
ON PLAYING WITH RYAN SUTER, PULLING A MIAMI HEAT FREE AGENT SCHEME
"No. 1, I don't like when anyone right now is drawing this comparison to LeBron. I'm getting a lot of those texts from friends right now [about that].
"Ryan's a great player. He's a top defenseman in this League. Those types of players don't come around often. They're tough to find. I would love to play on a team with a defenseman like Ryan Suter. Immediately, you have a power-play guy, you got a shutdown guy. Those guys are hard to find. To get an opportunity to play with him would be great."
ON THE MINNESOTA WILD
"You have a lot of history there with my dad having played … different organization, but the same town, same team basically. Just the thought of that would be really cool. That's something that, throughout this process you have to consider. You don't throw anything out right away without considering all the information."
The full interview will be achieved here.
The notion that Ryan Suter and Zach Parise could be a package deal has been on the back burner throughout this process. The Minnesota Wild — the most likely landing place if they both sign on the same team — the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings are all suspected of having offered contracts to both players.
Maybe playing with Suter is one of the "non-monetary" considerations for Parise.
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