Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NHL Anaheim Ducks

Having a Tough Time Making Sense of All These Zach Parise Rumors? You’re Not Alone!

The insanity surrounding New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise and his impending free-agency has given birth to many interesting and perplexing rumors. If you’re having a hard time keeping track of it all, don’t fret. I’m here to refresh your memory and explain why none of them make any sense for Parise’s situation.

Up until yesterday the Devils and Parise’s camp had yet to talk turkey. The lack of communication led to a bevy of rumors. Some believable and others…not so much. That is the nature of pro sports and the beauty of free-agency. So many possibilities with so many possibly outcomes.

Here are a few of the better Parise rumors I have heard over the last couple of weeks.

- on June 15th it was reported the Minnesota Wild were ready to give away the farm for Parise’s services. At the time the rumor made sense for the Wild. Parise is from the State of Hockey and would instantly become Minnesota’s biggest hero.

Alas, Parise signing with the Wild makes no sense for…well, Parise. He has said playing for a winner will way heavily on his decision to sign somewhere. Minnesota is not and will not be that team for quite some time. It’s very possible he could end up there. The problem is it would be strictly a money reason and that is so very un-Parise like.

- The Mega-Minnesota rumor was quickly followed by a plethora of complicated ones.  The next ave of rumors began circulating around the idea of New Jersey trading away their captain’s rights to any Tom, Dick or Harry GM that would be willing to unload their entire roster. And for what?  A “chance” to sign Parise before the July 1st door to free-agent freedom.

Some even when as far as to say that Parise had agreed to be traded to the Colorado Avalanche after turning down a proposed deal to the Dallas Stars. I couldn’t stop laughing at the players rumored to be coming back to New Jersey.  An aging and oft-injured J. S. Giguere, Chuck Kobasew and draft picks. It was almost like somebody went down the list of teams on NHL 12 attempting to trade Parise until a deal was accepted.  Whala! A rumor is born!.

- This next rumor really takes the cake and it’s a really stupid cake. According to several rumor mongers, the Devils would not be able to retain Parise because he wanted to be “the man” and was tired of living in Ilya Kovalchuk’s shadow. Yes, this was said about the most “team-first” player I’ve ever seen play in the NHL.

So where could Parise play without competing for his star status? How about the complete opposite of that, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens are rumored to to be intrigued with playing Parise on a line with Sidney Crosby.

Then the rumors took a more sinister route, ala Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. Some people actually believe Parise and Crosby have wanted to play together for some time. Even going as far as to say the two stars may have planned to bring their talents to the same team at some point in their careers. I shudder at the thought.

If ZP really thinks he plays second fiddle to Kovalchuk, I wonder what he would think of the gigantic shadow that would be cast over him by Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?

Those are just some of the gems that have made the rounds over the last two weeks, but I have a doozy of a rumor. It is the one rumor that seems to have escaped all the social media outlets and blogs across the internet. It is a rumor so far-fetched that I must beg you to turn away if you have a weak stomach.

Here goes nothing….the Devils are the leading candidate to retain Parise’s service. I know this because it came straight from the horses mouth.

“First and foremost, we want to try to get things worked out with New Jersey.”  - Zach Parise

Those are the 27-year-old’s own words as told to Rich Chere just hours ago. Parise has said all along that his first priority is to remain with New Jersey. Why should that change now? He has never wavered or minced his words. He says he wants to be a New Jersey Devil and I believe him.

I feel stronger than ever that Parise’s agents Wade Arnott and Don Meehan will be able to come to terms with Lou Lamoriello and the Devils before the Sunday deadline. I think the biggest story of the free-agent frenzy will not be where Parise goes, but rather where he doesn’t go.

Forget all those crazy rumors. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side and I think Parise senses that now. The Devils re-signing the five-time 30-goal scorer may not be the sexiest of stories, especially for our rumor hungry society, but it certainly makes the most sense – for both sides.

Follow me on Twitter! @StevePalumboNHL

Email me at StevePalumboNHL@gmail.com