Chicago Blackhawks Very Much A Possibility For Zach Parise

By Randy Holt

Just when you thought we’d finally have a decision on where the top free agent on the market would be playing  his home games for the next decade, Zach Parise decided to make everyone wait at least one more before announcing his decision. But that could be good news for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Though the Blackhawks were considered to have an outside shot at Zach Parise, most figured Stan Bowman would stay away from the big splash. On Monday, however, the Hawks appeared to make a late push for the unrestricted free agent and further complicated Parise’s decision.

It remains to be seen how good the Hawks’ chances are of landing him, but with several players (including Jonathan Toews who shares a connection with Parise to both Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the University of North Dakota), you have to figure their chances are as good as any.

The fact that the Blackhawks are even making a big push for Zach Parise is very interesting, on a couple of fronts and does raise questions. The first of which is the fact that Parise doesn’t even necessarily fill a need.

The Hawks’ biggest needs are on the blue line and in the middle, as well as in goal if you’re of the opinion that it’s time to ditch Corey Crawford (I am not). Signing Parise would mean that no one would be able to keep the Hawks out of the net, but what about the other holes on the roster?

It also opens up some of the intrigue surrounding Patrick Kane. Do the Hawks look into dealing him if they sign Parise? That’s an awful lot of money locked into so few players. It’s possible, but also doubtful. The Blackhawks could find a way to make that money work.

We don’t really know who is leading the Parise sweepstakes at this point. It could be the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could be the Minnesota Wild. There’s still a major chance that he could end up remaining with the New Jersey Devils. Whoever does manage to sign Zach Parise will gain a tremendous winger, who is strong at both ends of the ice and a great presence in the room.

Regardless of need, he’d be a great addition by Stan Bowman and would help to quiet critics (including myself) that don’t think he has the stones to pull off a move of this magnitude. To see the Blackhawks even in on Parise at this point is still something of a surprise to many.

If you thought a signing as simple as Sheldon Brookbank opened up questions for the Chicago Blackhawks, just imagine if they pull off a Zach Parise signing. It’s nowhere near a certainty, and may very well be a long shot, but the fact that it was the Blackhawks who threw a wrench into everything on Monday certainly opens up a wealth of possibilites. Stay tuned.

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