Devils plan to keep Zach Parise at trade deadline before losing him next summer

Puck Daddy

At the Board of Governors meeting in Ottawa last weekend, it was confirmed that the New Jersey Devils are being subsidized as a financial train wreck forwarded revenue payments as their ownership group continues to battle and they face an $80 million debt obligation that could lead the team to bankruptcy.

So, good times then …

News on the state of New Jersey increased the speculation about captain Zach Parise leaving the State of New Jersey before he hits unrestricted free agency next summer. But according to the NY Post, word around the League is that Parise will remain a Devils through next month's trade deadline.

From the NY Post:

Sources say inquiring general managers are getting the word Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is not dealing unrestricted free agent-to-be Zach Parise before the NHL's Feb. 27 trade deadline.

Instead, it is thought if the Devils do not want to re-sign Parise in June, they'll trade his rights to a team that wants an advance shot at negotiations before he becomes free July 1.

So the Ryan Suter Plan, essentially.

This should come as a shock to … no one. First, because the Devils believe they have a considerable shot at bringing Parise back. That may fly in the face of logic and spit in the face of their debt-collectors, but there's a reason they gave him the captaincy.

Second, because even if Lamoriello felt Parise wouldn't re-sign, he's been in a win-now mode since the lockout. He's not going to undermine a veteran team — and one of his franchise goalie's last runs — by dealing away the team's best player (sorry, Ilya). He'd rather go for a Stanley Cup than trade when the value's highest. Maybe not the best thing for the franchise, but without question the best thing for Lou.

As a Devils fan, I don't expect Parise back, but I believe he could come back. (It also speaks to my being raised in Jersey, where pessimism has its own learning unit during kindergarten.) The team's finances are one concern. His family pulling him back to Minnesota is another concern. The notion that Parise thinks he has a better shot at a Stanley Cup somewhere other than New Jersey is yet another.

But hey, at least he'll still be in red and black when the team's eliminated in the first round again this postseason ...

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