It has been exactly one month since Zach Parise defected from the New Jersey Devils to the Minnesota Wild. He said for so long, that he wanted to stay in New Jersey. In fact before last season, Devils GM, Lou Lamoriello was working on a long-term deal with Parise. He ended up signing a one-year deal to stay, but continued to re-iterate his desire to stay long term. What does this team do this season, they named him captain and went on to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. They made it his team and met his criteria of winning and he walked out anyway. He also says that the money offered by the Devils was not the problem. He also proceeded to say that he is a loyal guy, when he signed with Minnesota. How is leaving your team of seven years, to take comparable money somewhere else being loyal? I would say that it is the complete opposite. Lets review Zach Parise’s criteria for staying (most likely) and if the Devils could meet it…
Reasonable Salary: Check (I know he said it’s wasn’t about the money, but he still needs to be paid fairly.
Winning Team: 48-28-6, 102 Points, Stanley Cup Finals Appearance: Check
Minnesota: 35-36-11, 81 Points, 12th place in west: Not at all a winning team.
Chance to Become a Legend: New Jersey: Played there for seven years already, was the captain, nearly became the first non-Scott Stevens captain to hoist the Stanley Cup. Would have been captain for years and have his number 9 raised to the rafters.
Minnesota: Chance to become an alternate captain to Mikko Koivu
Good Coach: Every Devil, Parise included, genuinely loved playing for Peter DeBoer.
Minnesota: Just ask Marek Zidlicky what a chore playing for Mike Yeo turned out to be.
While Zach Parise was one of my favorite Devils of all-time, I have to say that he was a compulsive liar throughout this entire process. He wanted to go home and play with his buddy, Ryan Suter above all. His loyalty was actually non-existent, as the Devils cultivated this player, evidenced by these statistics…
2005-2006: 14 Goals, 18 Assists
2006-2007: 31 Goals, 31 Assists
2007-2008: 32 Goals, 33 Assists
2008-2009: 45 Goals, 49 Assists
2009-2010: 38 Goals, 44 Assists
2010-2011: 3 Goals, 3 Assists (13 Games)
2011-2012: 31 Goals, 38 Assists
The Devils looked to be building something special, and turned over this team to Zach. He bolted, and with that gave up any chance of ever being considered a great New Jersey Devil. It could have been Zach Parise’s number 9, next to Scott Stevens’s number 4, Ken Daneyko’s number 3, Scott Niedermayer’s number 27, and hopefully Martin Brodeur’s number 30, and Patrik Elias’s number 26. Zach had all the makings of an all-time great, but with his departure he has now guaranteed a challenging next 13 years, for both him and the New Jersey Devils.