FREE AGENCY UPDATE I
The interesting dynamic to watch today for the Penguins is how their chase of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise affects their ability to stay in the game for their particular fall back options.
We'll start with Zach Parise who is looking for significant money upfront, reportedly a $12 million signing bonus in year 1 and another $12 million signing bonus due next July 1st. The Penguins I'm told don't have a good feel on how things are going to go in their pursuit of Parise but there continues to be rumblings out of Parise's inner circle that he has so much respect for the Devils, that they see him not signing with a division rival and going to the Western Conference if he he bolts New Jersey, despite how attractive the opportunity to play with Sidney Crosby might be. We'll soon find out if there's anything to that talk.
Many still believe Minnesota will be coming in with the highest bid to Parise, likely in the $100+ million range sources say, and possibly as much as $20-$25 million more than the Penguins will be willing to go. This talk though of the Penguins not being interested in offering a front loaded deal is not accurate, team sources. They see Parise as a great opportunity and won't let that affect things.Ă‚Â The Penguins, Wild, Red Wings, Stars, Senators, Kings, Ducks, Hurricanes, Flyers and possibly even the Rangers are among the teams expected to make a serious pitch for Parise. The sense is Parise will be signing much quicker than Ryan Suter who unlike Parise is going into free agency with the intention of not signing until tomorrow at the earliest. The sense on Parise is that he could sign by the end of the business day but a decision could wait out until tomorrow, operating under the same kind of strategy Parise's reps at Newport did last summer with Brad Richards.
While the Penguins will be establishing early interest with Zach Parise, they will also be checking in onĂ‚Â some particular top-6 targets on the wings they have interest in when the clock strikes noon, most of them viewed as short-term options.