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NHL Rumors: Zach Parise to the Penguins?

New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise could become part of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The big draft-night trade that sent Jordan Staal to Carolina surprised everyone and opened up $6 million in cap space that the Penguins can freely use now. It is also rumored that defenseman Paul Martin could be on his way out of the Steel City too, which would free up even more cap space to the tune of $5 million. That’s a lot of going-around money and Penguins general manager Ray Shero might just use it to nab Parise, although he will definitely come with a high price.

Pittsburgh is definitely not the only team potentially interested in getting Parise, though. Other teams that could try to get him include the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and the Minnesota Wild. Sources say that the Wild could be willing to basically throw everything they’ve got at Parise, offering him a big long-term contract with lots of cash, but Minnesota might not be the best destination for Parise in terms of winning the Stanley Cup soon. However, it would keep him close to home: he was born in Minneapolis, went to Shattuck-St. Mary’s and his dad used to assistant coach the old Minnesota North Stars.

Detroit may wish to focus on shoring up their defense since two blueliners left the fold: Nicklas Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart went to San Jose. In that case, they may focus more on trying to get Ryan Suter from the Nashville Predators instead. However, if they get both Suter and Parise, that would be a huge surprise and something that could make them big Cup contenders again–they had an early playoff exit at the Predators’ hands this year.

Though Parise captained the Devils all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, he may very well choose to leave New Jersey, especially considering the team’s financial problems.