Lou Nanne believes there's 'good chance' Zach Parise ends up with Wild
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Zach Parise declined to discuss his future on Monday night after the New Jersey Devils' season came to an end with a Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the expectation remains that the Minnesota Wild will make a very strong push to sign the unrestricted free agent.
Former North Stars president and general manager Lou Nanne confirmed as much on Tuesday during his weekly appearance on "Reusse and Mackey" on 1500 ESPN. Nanne said that after talking to Wild owner Craig Leipold last week he believes, "the Wild are going to throw the kitchen sink" at the winger in order to land him.
Nanne said he thinks the fact the financially strapped Devils lost in the Cup finals make it less likely that Parise will stick with that organization. Parise has spent his seven-year NHL career with New Jersey and served as the team's captain.
"I was under the belief that he would have to win the Cup to come to Minnesota until I talked to Craig Leipold last week," Nanne said. "I've gotta tell you, the Wild are going to throw the kitchen sink at him. I think there's a good chance he ends up in Minnesota, because I don't see anybody in the National Hockey League willing to give as much to Parise as the Wild are going to be willing to give. So I would not be surprised if Zach Parise came home."
Nanne went on to say that the Wild will pursue Parise and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, who also will be a free agent on July 1.
"They're going to do everything in their power to get them," Nanne said. "And I would not be surprised if they got them. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't get them. But I have to tell you, if they don't get them it's going to be confusing to me -- especially Parise, because I really believe the Wild will pay more than anybody else for him."
The Red Wings, Rangers and Penguins also have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Parise, whose father J.P. played with the North Stars.
"I talked to the Rangers and I know they're going to go after (Parise), but I know they're not going after him with the same money as the Wild are," Nanne said. " ... I also think Pittsburgh's going to be involved, and I also think the Detroit Red Wings are going to be involved.
"The sleeper team that nobody's talking about is going to be the Florida Panthers, and I do believe there's going to be a number of other guys, like the Bruins would want Parise. Everybody's going to want Zach, and most of the teams out there right now would find a way to fit him under the salary cap at, I would say, the same price, and that'd be in the range from $7.5 to $8.5 million. But I think he's going to end up making more than that."
Parise, 27, was born in Minneapolis and played college hockey at North Dakota. He had 31 goals and 38 assists in 82 regular-season games with the Devils this season.
Phil Mackey contributed