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Zach Parise officially hits the market

Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:07 AM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

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NHL Free Agency 2012 blog
Zach Parise officially hits the market

Zach Parise did not sign with the New Jersey Devils before the free-agent market opened at noon ET Sunday, officially becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Parise, who is the top forward and arguably the top unrestricted free agent available, met with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello in Toronto on Saturday night, according to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie. However, McKenzie tweeted at 11 a.m ET Sunday that while the Devils are not out of the running, Parise wanted to test his value on the open market.

2012 FREE AGENCY

Free agency previews (by division)

With free agency opening Sunday at noon ET, NHL.com takes a look at the needs of all 30 teams -- division by division -- as well as the Top 10 free agents in each division:

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers have been linked to Parise's name as being the most interested. Parise indicated two days after the Devils season ended that he would not sign with the Rangers.

Parise is good friends with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is expected to sign his 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension Sunday. The Penguins are roughly $12.26 million under the $70.2 million salary cap, according to Capgeek.com.

The Wild will try to sell Parise on coming home as he is from Minneapolis. Shortly after the free agent market opened the Wild used their official Twitter account to announce that they have extended contract offers to Parise and top unrestricted free agent defenseman Ryan Suter.

Minnesota has $18.49 million in cap space

Detroit, with roughly $24 million in cap space, also figures to be in play for both Parise and Suter. The Predators expect Suter to circle back to them after fielding offers.

Philadelphia is reportedly involved in trade discussions regarding Columbus captain Rick Nash. If the Flyers can make that deal happen, perhaps their interest in Parise will wane since Nash comes with a salary cap hit of $7.8 million for the next six seasons.

As for the Kings, they tried and failed to get the top free agent forwards in each of the past two summers: Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010 and Brad Richards in 2011. However, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that they are undeterred and plan to target Parise with roughly $11.8 million in cap space. If the Kings are able to acquire Parise, there's a good chance that burly forward Dustin Penner won't return to L.A.

Parise spent this past season as the captain of the New Jersey Devils, leading them into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2003. The Devils lost in Game 6 to the Los Angeles Kings.

Parise had 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points in 82 games after missing all but 13 games of the previous season with a knee injury. He has played his entire seven-year career with the Devils after they drafted him in the first-round of the 2003 NHL Draft and has 194 goals and 216 assists for 410 points in 502 games.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com