WILD EMERGING AS FAVORITE
Whether it’s to return to New Jersey, go home to Minnesota, join close friend Jonathan Toews in Chicago or even team up with Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh, star winger Zach Parise isn’t ready to make a decision tonight on where he plans to play the rest of his playing career.
Minutes ago, one of Parise’s agent Wade Arnott confirms via email that a decision will not be made tonight but says a decision might be made on Wednesday. Parise also confirms the news to Dan Rosen of NHL.com, saying “Nothing will happen tonight.”
Parise is now back home in Minnesota mulling his options with his fiancee and family. Parise hinted today that a decision likely wasn’t coming today when speaking at the airport around 1:00 p.m.Â with reporter Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune at the Minneapolis Airport. “We havenât made a timetable or wanted to make a timetable,â Parise said in the early afternoon. âI donât want to put those types of restrictions on anything. You have to do the right research and itâs a life-changing decision.â
As of 6:00 p.m., I was told that Parise’s camp had no talks with the Penguins today and are believed to have the Penguins, others still in the dark about where they stand. The decision making is now all on Parise and I get the vibe from those involved in the situation that Parise’s agents weren’t leading the media on that a decision was going to come yesterday or even today. They seemed to have felt that Parise was closer to a decision than he really is.
All signs continue to point to the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins still being in the mix but at this point it’s just a guessing game as to who really is the favorite, NHL sources say. The Blackhawks though seem to have really made a late charge in the sweepstakes, while the Minnesota Wild continue to be regarded as a big-BIG darkhorse in the mix as Parise lives in Minnesota about 25 minutes from the Twin Cities and is building a house in the area.
Â Many in the know have believed that if PariseÂ becomes sold on the Wild becoming a contender, they would emerge as the most likely suitor to landÂ him as Parise’s fiancee is said to prefer to live in Minnesota.
âItâs a decision my fiancÃ©e and I will make together and that plays a lot into it. We just want to go somewhere that we know weâre going to be happy, ” Parise told the Star-Tribune.
The Wild are also making a major push for Ryan Suter and have emerged as a favorite to land Suter along with the Detroit Red Wings. Parise and Suter who are good friends have discussed the possibility of playing together in the past. The sense around the league for a few days now has been that Parise would pick his destination before Suter and if he picked Minnesota, Suter would likely follow suit.
After making some calls tonight, I was told once again that with the respect Parise has for the Devils organization, Parise is believed to have big concerns about being looked as a villian if he were to join a division rival in the Penguins and that is really weighing on him. However, as one source said if he really wants to go to Pittsburgh he will overlook that.