The Bruins Didn’t Win the Zach Parise Sweepstakes–and That’s Fine

Now that Zach Parise has gone back to his hometown and signed a gargantuan 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild, details about the losers in the Parise sweepstakes are coming to light, including a report that the Boston Bruins put in a “significant offer” for him.

The full details of this offer are not known and may never be known for sure, but this report does make me wonder what general manager Peter Chiarelli was thinking when he put in the offer. Any sort of big offer would have most likely placed the Bruins outside of the offseason salary cap, which is set at $70.2 million plus an offseason cushion of an extra 10 percent.

Aside from putting Marc Savard on the long-term injured reserve list (which isn’t even allowed in the offseason and isn’t as simple as merely refunding Savard’s $4 million cap hit) and trying to barter a trade for Tim Thomas to a team that needs help hitting the salary floor, let alone the ceiling (if they’re willing to put $5 million on the ledger but not see any action from it), it’s unsure how Chiarelli would have managed to balance the books and bring in Parise.

Keep in mind that many teams went after Parise, though of course only the Wild were successful. Still, the Wild needs Parise’s point-scoring skills (31 goals, 38 assists, 69 points) more than the Bruins. Minnesota finished dead last in the league in terms of goals for with 2.02, whereas the Bruins came in third in that metric (3.17), just behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (3.33) and tied with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Wild boasted just two players with more than 20 goals last season: Dany Heatley with 24 and Kyle Brodziak with 22. Meanwhile, the Bruins had six 20+ goal scorers and all will be back next season.

Besides, the Wild fan base needed this big deal, and Ryan Suter‘s twin deal, more as well. The faithful in the State of Hockey haven’t seen their team visit the postseason since 2008, when they lost in the first round. Their deepest playoff run ever–of course, they’re quite a young team–was in 2003, when they went to the Western Conference Final but were swept by the Anaheim Ducks, who went on to lose the Stanley Cup Final to New Jersey. Parise and Suter both have postseason experience and the fact that they chose Minnesota when they could have gone elsewhere must give Wild fans a nice shot of hope for the future.

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