|2011 - Zach Parise||31||38||69||-5||32|
2011 Cap Hit: $6,000,000
2012 Status: Somewhat coveted UFA
We're closing out our week of window shopping by taking a look at a hidden gem from the New Jersey Devils organization.
Atlantic City: Zach Parise has some talent. The Minnesota native was taken 17th overall in the 2003 draft (the one that netted the Avs Brad Richardson and David Jones). Only four players from that draft - Eric Staal, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Tomas Vanek - have more career points than Parise and that number would likely be smaller if Parise hadn't missed 65 games two years ago with a knee injury. The Avalanche need a winger who can contribute offensively, and that is Parise to a T (or is it Z?). Parise has 5 30-goal seasons in his 7-year career. He's a hard-working player who is able to play in all situations (1:57 per game on the PK last year). He's only 27, which fits right into the Avs' youth movement.
Jersey Shore: Parise is a bit small and did we mention he missed 65 games two years ago with a knee injury? Also, I've heard there may be another team interested in him.
Turnpike Tolls: Parise picked a great year to be born, as he is pretty much the gem of a weak free agent crop. He will be able to command a nice long-term deal, with a cap hit of $7 million or more. You don't even need to alt-tab over to capgeek to know that the Avalanche could absorb that hit without even breathing hard. But will they? He fills a GLARING need...but Ilya Kovalchuk would have as well, and the Avalanche didn't seem to have much interest when he was available.
Full Service Stations: Even if the Avalanche did pursue Parise, this really is going to boil down to where he wants to go. Does he go home to Minnesota to wallow on a terrible team? Does he join those bastards in Detroit? Does he stay in New Jersey and, if so, why? I'd love to see it happen, as I think he'd be a perfect fit in Denver. Strangely, I am neither Parise's agent or the Avalanche GM, so I will just have to sit around and watch on July 1st like the rest of you lazy bums.