Free Agent

Twitter was about to explode around 4:30 on Monday afternoon with the imminent news of a statement by Zach Parise in several minutes. Parise waited until roughly 5:00 PM eastern time to announce that, there would essentially be no announcement, as noted by TSN's Mark Masters. Masters went on to report that Parise did not feel pressure to make a choice and that he is still deciding between several teams. The Twitter-sphere had a slight overreaction when there was no news on the Parise, as the free agency signing period has become a new animal when combined with the fervent passion of hockey fans and social media. Parise's need to wait to make a decision is quite understandable; it's a life-changing decision and New Jersey is very much still in the mix according to several sources. People freaking out over Parise not making a decision is amusing, more accurately, it's amusing seeing people wait for more than a minute to hear some news. Strangely though, the social meda community is not reacting with the same ire and fervor to Nashville's Ryan Suter waiting to make his decision, as succinctly put by's Dan Rosen.

The Devils have been employing their top salesman, Martin Brodeur, to sway Parise back to New Jersey, where the Devils' captain has spent his entire seven-year career. (Brodeur himself had just re-signed with New Jersey on Monday morning, as per the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti.)Parise's presence on New Jersey's team can not be understated and the Newark Star-Ledger's Rich Chere noted that Parise is nearing choice, but has not " set any deadlines. Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have all expressed interest in bring Parise on board.

Parise is coming off a season where his offensive numbers were a little down compared to his last full season in 2009-2010 (as he missed all but 13 games the next season with a knee injury). Last year, Parise put up 31 goals and 69 points, down from the 82 he notched in 2010, but he has cracked 30 goals in five of his six full NHL season. Parise's intangibles and tireless work rate make him one of the league's unique young talents. A team banking on him scoring 50 goals and 95 points every year could be disappointed, but it's the exemplary effort that Parise puts forward that has team's ready to bankrupt themselves to sign. Parise has a quick release, great acceleration and can be effective down low, as evidenced by his goal against Los Angeles in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The former North Dakota star has slick hands and can kill penalties, as any forward in New Jersey must be able to do. Wherever he lands, his fantasy value will be high, but other destinations might give it more of a boost.

-Dan Pennucci

@dpennucci on Twitter.


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