There have been a lot of talk about Parise lately and where he'll end up. We heard from site to site different stories ranging from him resigning with the Devils to being traded at the deadline to almost every team in the NHL. So last night I started thinking, which doesn't happen much at my age, and started to look around the league to find a right partner for Parise if and that's the big IF the Devils HAD to trade Parise. I looked at every team in the NHL and their farm system and tried to pick the team that A)wants/needs him, B)can afford him, C)Parise would resign with them, D)would have a real shot at winning a cup this year and years following, E)where he can be the #1 guy and F)have the pieces and need to fit the Devils and vice-versa. After all this I came to an unanimous decision.....The St.Louis Blues.
The Blues would be a perfect fit for the Devils and Zach Parise. If we look at the Blues we see that they are an up-and-coming team, great young talent, strong on the right-side but weak on the left side and also missing that "true" star player. So lets see how it would work.
A)Does St.Louis need Parise....Yes
Like I said before, the Blues are heavy on the right side and right-handed shots (players like Backes, Langenbrunner, Stewart, Arnott, Oshie, Perron, D'Agostini, Crombeen) they could use a true #1 LW'er in Parise where the only left-handed shots are coming from converted centers Bergland and Steen(injured) who are playing the left-side now.
B)Can they afford him.....Yes
They are about 9mil under the cap ceiling now plus they have a few player coming off the books like Langenbrunner(2.5mil), Arnott(2.5mil), Colaiacovo(2.5mil) and Jackman(3.5mil). They could give Parise his money plus keep their RFA's like Oshie, Stewart and Perron (even though 1 would be traded in this deal) and some others if they wanted to.
C)Would Parise resign there.....Yes
Parise will get his money so thats not the problem but there is a bonus and that is St.Louis is a very good hockey town. They support their team and are very loyal to their players and like other players who went there, most never want to leave (Weight and Tkachuk to name a few that come to mind). Once Parise gets traded there, he'll probably resign before the years even over. He also gets to play with some good friends in Backes(Team USA) and maybe his best friend in Langenbrunner.
D)Does St'Louis have a real shot at winning the cup this year......Yes
Even without Parise they are a top team in the West but adding Parise would probaby put them at worst on par with teams like Vancouver and Detroit if not past them. St.Louis might be one star player away from the cup.
E)Would Parise be the #1 guy.....Yes
Backes is a very good player but Parise has that little extra. He is a true star, maybe top20-25 player in the NHL and is a born leader (even tough I think Backes should remain captain). He'll be the go-to guy as he should be and play in all the top spots (1st line, PP, PK and even double shift).
F)Do the Devils and St.Louis match up....Yes
Here is where I really feel the Devils SHOULD call the Blues if they had to trade Parise. First off the Devils are strong at LW and weak at RW where St.Louis is strong at RW and weak at LW. Plus looking at Blues farm systems from Hockey Future's we see their "Weaknesses: There is little depth at left wing or in goal within the organization. Additionally, there are no blue chip prospects on the blue line." and with the Devils "Strengths: The Devils are knee deep in prospects at the pro level, the deepest position of which is on the blue line. That group is headlined by Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill and Alexander Urbom. Eric Gelinas and Brandon Burlon also show plenty of promise. With the addition of Keith Kinkaid during the summer, the Devils group of goaltending prospects (Wedgewood, Kinkaid and Clermont) continues to show signs of growth. ". So with this we also could swap prospects to make this trade work.
Now I'm no GM or claim to know what players value are so I'll just throw something out there and I have no idea if it would be fair for either side so be gentle..
Maybe from St.Louis a player from this group Stewart/Oshie/Perron(since they have an over-load of right-handed shooting wings) and this group Tarasenko/Schwartz
From the Devils, St.Louis will get Parise and a player from this group Urbom/Gelinas/Burlon and this group Wedgewood/Clermont/Kinkaid
So lets say for arguments sake it's Stewart and Tarasenko for Parise, Urbom and Clermont.
Devils get a young, tough RW'er who will become a RFA but won't cost as much as Parise plus get one of the best prospects in hockey with Tarasenko. St.Louis gets one of the best LW'ers in the NHL today that fills a need who is just hitting his prime at 27 and can probably lock him up before he ever hits free-agency where then they would have to bid against 29 other teams (if they decided to wait until the off-season to get him) plus they add two blue chip prospects that also fits a need in their system (a goalie and a defenseman).