Winger Zach Parise gives no indication of where he might end up
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Zach Parise continued to remain very guarded about what the future might hold on Wednesday while attending an NHL players charity game Wednesday to benefit the Defending the Blue Line program at Ridder Arena.
The New Jersey Devils winger and captain, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is expected to be pursued by several teams, including the Minnesota Wild. Parise declined to discuss how negotiations with the Devils have gone in the days leading up to free agency.
"We've kept everything pretty private and we're going to do the same thing for however long it takes," he said.
New Jersey lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals and it's believed the financially-strapped Devils are going to have a very difficult time keeping Parise. Parise was born in Minneapolis and is the type of very player the Wild could use on what promises to be a young team in 2012-13.
Parise signed autographs at Wednesday's event, which benfits a charity that assists families of all branches of the military with costs associated with hockey.
Asked if any Wild fans tried to slip him a contract to sign in the autograph line, Parise said: "No, but I did get a couple recommendations from them. They've got great fans here."
The 27-year-old Parise realizes the coming days are going to be very interesting. He has spent his first seven seasons with the Devils.
"(It will be) pretty crazy I think," he said. "I've got a lot of people asking what's going on, so we'll get things figured out, pretty soon hopefully. As a player it's something that you work hard to try and take advantage of and at the same time I think it might get a little stressful."
In his final interview with the New Jersey and New York media this season, Parise did not give any indication of where he would land but did eliminate the Devils' rivals, the New York Rangers, as a potential option.
Parise laughed and seemed to back off that a bit on Wednesday. "I was put on the spot there, c'mon," he said. "We'll see what happens."