NHL Free Agency: The three best landing spots for Zach Parise

Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Zach Parise (11)
Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

These are the three best fits for Zach Parise ahead of NHL Free Agency opening this week.

NHL Free Agency is just days away with all 32 teams able to improve their team on the open market from Wednesday, July 28 onwards, and there will be a lot of interested parties when it comes to forward Zach Parise.

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After being bought out by the Minnesota Wild earlier this month, Parise will be free to sign with any team he wants once Free Agency opens, and there will be plenty of franchises interested in adding a proven top-six wing to their rosters.

Although his production dipped in 2020-21 after recording just 18 points (7 G, 11 A) in 45 games for the Wild, Parise could be a potent offensive threat if put in the right situation and he can also be used on either power play unit.

With 810 points (393 G, 417 A) in 1,060 career NHL regular season games, in addition to a further 80 points (37 G, 43 A) in 105 postseason games, the left-shot’s resume is impressive and he still has some good hockey left in the tank.

Plus, at 36-years-old, Parise is eligible to sign a one-year, over-35 deal with performance bonuses that wouldn’t count against the cap in 2021-22, so that will be a huge selling point for any team interested in making a run at the forward.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at three of the most intriguing fits for Parise ahead of Free Agency…

The Three Best Landing Spots for veteran forward Zach Parise in NHL Free Agency

Zach Parise (11)
Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins ownership made it abundantly clear last season that they are committed to winning after hiring veteran NHL executive Brian Burke as their President of Hockey Operations, with Ron Hextall serving under him as General Manager.

While Hextall will no doubt have one eye on the future given his track record for drafting high-end prospects, just look at his fingerprints all over the Philadelphia Flyers, Burke wouldn’t have left his role with Sportsnet for an immediate and long rebuild.

No, as long as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are on the roster, the Penguins will be committed to winning and that’s why they could be interested in going after Zach Parise once Free Agency opens on Wednesday.

For starters, Parise worked with Burke at the 2010 Olympics and, as per the narrative out there, Parise is keen to go somewhere where he is most comfortable and where he also has a pre-existing relationship.

While the Penguins aren’t as high up on the list in that category as the two other teams we have in this article, they do offer an intriguing proposition in that they are desperate to win one more Stanley Cup with Crosby before their window fully slams shut.

Therefore, the opportunity to finally win a ring and to potentially play on a line with Crosby could prove too tempting for Parise, who may only have a couple of years left before he decides to call it quits in his NHL career.

We all know that forwards tend to enjoy a bit of a resurgence when put on a line with Crosby, while Parise could also be a good fit on Jeff Carter‘s line and he’d also be a nice weapon to have on the second power play unit.

Plus, as we mentioned above, Parise could sign a bonus-laden deal that wouldn’t count against the cap for teams in 2021-22, something he can do given that he’s owed $6.7 million by the Wild over the next eight years and that would certainly work for the Penguins who have about $7.5 million in cap space per CapFriendly.