So it begins.

The New Jersey Devils on Friday filed for arbitration with restricted free agent left wing, Zach Parise. The only question will, of course, be salary. Zach wants more than what New Jersey is willing to give right now, in part due to the Kovalchuck signing and Lamoriello’s negotiating style.

Let’s face it, Lou probably doesn’t have owner Jeff Vanderbeek demanding to sign Parise with a “whatever it takes” at the end of that sentence (like Vanderbeek did with Ilya Kovalchuk) and Lamoriello has his sights on the end of the 2011-2012 season where he will lose Brian Rolston and Marty Brodeur’s contracts, which total over $10 million. He would then have the necessary cap room to sign Parise, although it will be interesting to see how he will then deal with his 7 forwards who, two seasons from now, will either be a UFA or RFA. From that list, we know Elias will not be resigned but as for the rest of them…have fun Lou…unless of course the new CBA bails your butt out.

Assuming Zach and Lou Lamoriello are unable to work out a deal before arbitration, Zach would receive a salary award that would keep him on Satan’s team for only one more season. After that, absent an extension, he is a UFA…

…One moment while I lick my chops.

Parise, 27 years old, is a super star. However, his injury and right knee surgery limited him to 12 games this past season and you can rest assured Lou Lamoriello will use that to argue for a lower salary. If the award is low enough (the floor of $4.25 million), Lamoriello will be in good shape and chances are Parise, if he wants to stay in the armpit, will then be signed long term.

Personally, I hope he gets at least a $6-7 million dollar award. Lamoriello only has about $7.2 million in cap room before the cap raise and such a salary would hurt more, especially if Lamoriello has any intention of any more signings for the coming season or the one thereafter.

Bottom line, Lamoriello wants cap flexibility and a big award to Parise would take that away from him.

Would the Devil free Parise’s soul through a trade (read: possibly to our Kings) if such a fair (read: big) award came down? Hard to say. My instincts say no. My instincts also say if Parise did get a nice bump in salary, Lou may often use his lord Vanderbeek’s name in vain.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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9 replies

  1. The lowest salary for Parise in an arbitration award is $4.25 milliong (85% of last season’s salary). Also, NJ can NOT walk away from an award, but they can trade him afterwards.

  2. It probaly makes sense that NJ find a buyer that can give NJ some players and prospects. If we look at area of need, not really knowing who NJ might have developing in the AHL or ECHL, players stll in Juniors, players in Europe, you would think some young proven players might be attractive in exchange for Parise. There is another important thing to remember as of today, they have no coach. Have fun trying to get around the rules yet once again Lou, maybe we’ll have a “Parise” rule added to the Kovalchuk rule. Betteman better not screw this up again!

  3. Parise will likely be a Devil for another two years, at least. Lou is just making sure his rights are protected while they continue to negotiate, and if worse comes to worst, they will just go to the judge and no matter what he receives they will take the maximum years. Lou will fit it no matter what he has to do, they aren’t letting go of Parise if he himself doesn’t want to leave. To trade for him would be too substantial and would involved our core, no way Dean even considers it. Schenn won’t get us Parise.

    • One year is the max term for an arbitration awarded contract. NJ can not ask for a two year contract because Parise is eligible for UFA next year.

  4. UFA next season? That’s why I don’t want to make any major signings during the summer, or this upcoming season. I would like to be free of contracts that will hinder us from getting a bonified top scoring forward, without giving anything up. The Kings main problem for years has been their inability to have free’d up cap space during the summer.

    Year after year the Kings have had other concerns that have to addressed in order to be responsible. The only way to aquire a top forward isn’t to wheel and deal, but to have the money free when we make our move. Tyring to make a deal for Richards, Carter, Parise, or whoever will only weaken us in terms of what we have to give back.

    The reason the Kings spent so many years throughout their history getting middle of the round, first round picks, and missing the playoffs at the same time, is because of impatience (and drafting first round busts year after year). Trading away what they’ve built, right at the momment of truth to win now, just to have it all come crashing down on them, has kept the Kings from seeing the fruits of their labors materialize, and sparked numerous rebuilds every 5 or 6 years.

    I don’t even want to go into all the free’d up space we’ll have next season, but it’s enough to aquire some key peices to put us over the edge. Like I’ve said in the past, I won’t fight it, but I wouldn’t mind waiting.

    • I had this discussion today and I was of the same mindset. Smyth off the books, possibly Penner unless he channels his inner athlete and we are set up nicely for that key acquisition next season. Part of my opinion is based on he fact I believe we have good talent and could use it better. This summer is not a make it or break anything. With that said, I believe the Kings may add that high end talent sooner if the opportunity presents itself even if there is risk involved. I am of the sense there is pressure from within.

      • I agree. I think there is pressure from there as well. Truth is we haven’t established a history yet, we’ve only established a potential. 2 years of making the playoffs, and I think, even most fans perception is that the only way to achieve forward progress, is to sell off pawns to aquire a Knight. There is no gaurenteed way to build properly, but the Kings have stayed with a plan, till now. If they abandon that plan to make an exception, and it fails, then their no different than all the other regimes that have failed at this point also.

        Longevity has kept the Red Wings a contender for decades, but the flash in the pan, buy your way to the top aproach has helped teams like………well…no one. Chicago bought their way to the top, but, I believe will pay for it for years, just like the Ducks (who are just now recovering, after spending years selling off pieces of their team to pay for the cap trouble Burke left them in).

        Those teams were dangerous the year before making a cup run, and you could smell the blood, if they just had a player to take them over the top. They made their moves then, to aquire their players to take them there. Are the Kings really at that point now?

  5. Hey Scribe,
    There’s some rumbling going on with Smyth asking to be traded. The first thing that came to mind was your article about needing to free ourselves of Smyths contract to have the money to sign or trade for a scorer. Just wanted to get your reaction.


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