Much like a long, winding traffic jam caused by just one or two cars, the free agency market isn’t grinding along like it should be–instead, it’s waiting, waiting for the decisions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to be made before it can continue to chug.
Parise announced yesterday that he had not yet made a decision and was going to talk to his family about it. Plus, he said there’s no deadline for his decision, so he could very well keep the hockey world waiting even longer.
Keep in mind, though, that he was born in, raised in and has family in Minnesota–and that the Minnesota Wild were one of the teams willing to put in an offer for him. Recently the Chicago Blackhawks surfaced as another possible choice, so maybe he needed time to consider this new possibility.
Suter, on the other hand, has been in a state of radio silence. He has not made a decision, nor has he informed anyone of when he might do so.
Interestingly, Bryce Salvador, who was pegged as being one of the players waiting until Parise and Suter made their choices to decide his own fate, decided that perhaps the waiting had gone on long enough. He re-signed with the New Jersey Devils for three years.
This inaction also impacts Rick Nash, another big fish in the pool, waiting for a trade. Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson is probably taking a wait-and-see approach, seeing which teams go for Parise and Suter, then diving in to talk with the teams who didn’t pick up those two. Possible destinations for Nash include the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks. However, expect them to have to pay up big time for Nash–trade packs including young promising players, a tried-and-true player or two, maybe a goaltender, future draft picks–it’s probably going to be big.
But first Parise and Suter need to move forward and fix the market’s gridlock.