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Zach Parise says Devils’ financial debt won’t affect contract decision

Greg Wyshynski
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As you might have heard, the New Jersey Devils are in a big of a sticky wicket when it comes to finances.

The NHL is advancing the team payments on revenue while principle owners Jeff Vanderbeek and Ray Chambers squabble, and while Vanderbeek figures a way out from under about $80 million in debt.

With the Montreal Canadiens in Jersey to face the Devils, Parise was asked on Thursday whether this news will impact his eventual contract decision as he head into unrestricted free agency.

From Fire & Ice:

"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."

Regarding trade talk, he said:

"I know that stuff is coming," he said. "If it's not coming from (GM)  Lou (Lamoriello), there's no use for me to try to read into stuff."

Parise keeps reiterating that his decision will be based on which situation gives him "a chance to win" going forward in his NHL career. It's the same thing his father, J.P. Parise, said back in December when the subject of Zach Parise returning home to play in Minnesota with the Wild was broached. Via the Star Tribune:

"Money will be a factor, of course," J.P. Parise said. "But he likes to win, he likes to have a chance, he likes to compete. ... That's why he decided to accept a one-year contract. He wants to see where [the Devils] are heading, what kind of players they have. They have acquired some good young players. He's not going to rush into anything. He'll take his time, analyze the whole thing.''

So winning is everything, but not the only thing. If the money isn't a primary issue, it'll be fascinating to see Parise weigh affection for the team that drafted him (and which he captains), affinity for his home state and what his other suitors will offer.

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