Each time the subject of Zach Parise comes up, I partially tune out. It’s not because I don’t want to see him as a Los Angeles King. I do. It’s because I used to find the odds about the same as Heidi Androl having a secret and not yet exercised desire to be my GFF (girlfriend forever)…that is assuming the wife approves and she already has so long as Matt Damon reciprocates, despite the fact I am better looking.
But many things have to go right for Zach Parise to become a Los Angeles King, right?
First, the Devils would have to suck again this season so the odds of Zach Parise walking as a free agent goes up because he won’t want to re-sign on a team that isn’t a contender or close to it. Actually, that is not all that far-fetched. Their goaltending is suspect as Marty Brodeur is half the man he used to be (cue STP) and they are weakest on defense and center depth. Not a good recipe to make the playoffs. Lou could make a splash I suppose but what do they have that anyone would want? Easy. Zach Parise.
Second, Dean Lombardi would have to want Zach Parise something fierce…well, let’s see. We have LW Dustin Penner that is in a contract year so we should and hope to get a good performance out of him, but what about after this season? Does Dean keep Penner? Guest writer Howard Roark will bring you an article on that. As for Gagne, if he is healthy, he is gold but we can’t put our eggs in that basket and, even if he remains healthy, we still need a top line, left wing if Penner is not retained. Is there a better one in the league who will be a UFA on July 1, 2012? Hell no. Parise is the hops to our barley, kids. Kopitar, Brown, Parise, Richards, Williams, Gagne…are you kidding me? I just got a semi. Dean Lombardi would have to be crazy not to want Parise.
Third, if it is a trade, what do we have that New Jersey needs? Other than our strengths being their weaknesses, nothing. We have depth at center and, tremendously so, on defense. Don’t go crazy and think I am proposing we trade someone like Jack Johnson for Zach Parise (I am not) but with the prospect pool of top talent on D, we can afford to lose one + center package + picks it may take. All of this assumes Zach would be locked up long-term. Not so out of the realm of reality, is it. Is it?
Fourth, Parise would have to be healthy. This is a risk and we won’t know how healthy he will be until the season commences. His knee injury (meniscus tear) is sometimes called a “whoa boy” because it does exactly that to the player. It can be a career changer.
Fifth, we would have to be able to afford him. That is the easy part. If Penner is not re-signed, that is over $4 million in freed cap space. We have already told you who the LA Kings’ UFAs are next season when, on August 18, we fast forwarded to 2012. We have the cap space boys and girls, more than enough to sign Parise mid or long-term and still have money to play.
So, is getting Parise at the deadline or, if he makes it to free agency, signing him then a long shot? You know, I don’t think it is. In fact, I will go out on a limb here and say it is more likely than not Dean Lombardi will make a strong push to bring Parise to L.A. “But what makes you think Zach will want to come here and play or, if traded, sign mid to long-term?” Other than the fact this is the best Kings’ team assembled since 91-92 and we finally look like a contender, nothing. If you don’t believe the LA Kings are good enough to contend for the Cup, you likely don’t believe Zach Parise will sign here if “winning” is priority 1a or 1b. If you do, then you have answered your own question.
Remember this article if and when the fateful day comes…GO KINGS!