|Parise had 31 goals and 38 assists this season. (Getty Images)|
Every team is going to want Zach Parise this summer, assuming he gets to July 1 still as a free agent. I'm sure even the Rangers will be interested, even if Parise isn't. The usual contenders will be mentioned among the suitors, the big-market teams with storied reputations.
Then there are the dark horse Minnesota Wild. Former North Stars and Minnesota guy through and through Lou Nanne talked about what's coming at Parise.
"I had dinner with [Wild owner] Craig Leipold on Wednesday night," Nanne said. "I know Chuck Fletcher and Leipold really want Parise, and what Craig told me is how hard he's going to go after him, and the kind of money he's going after him [with] -- I don't see how Parise's not coming here.
"I can tell you this: No one is going to outbid the Wild. So if Parise goes somewhere else, you can bet he's going for less money. What I said is, 'the kind of money that they're going to offer him, he might as well just come here and own the team and in his later years, win the Stanley Cup as an owner.'
"It is going to be so substantial that I cannot see Zach Parise turning it down."
I don't doubt Nanne that the Wild might have the best bid for Parise out there. Parise is from Minneapolis, he has what the Wild don't -- the ability to score goals -- and he's a prime target who would generate some buzz around what has been a rather sleepy franchise in the past few seasons.
Still, I can't bring myself to see Parise ultimately signing with the Wild. He'll listen, I'm sure. He'd be a fool not to, but if he is to be believed, he is looking for a team that is in contention for the Stanley Cup. That was something he previously said he wanted to see out of New Jersey and then they went to the Final this season.
Minnesota isn't exactly a team on the border of being a contender. They're more than a player like Parise away from being elite. I'm not sure if adding Parise would even make them a playoff team at this point.