Lou Lamoriello and company might file for arbitration with Devil’s superstar and fan favorite Zach Parise. In early November the left-winger received arthroscopic surgery which side-lined him for the remainder of the season. (He did play in one useless game in early April, before being shut down for the last two weeks of the season). Filing for team arbitration is nothing new for Devils management; however it is something new for Parise.
According to Tom Gulitti of Fire and Ice, Parise is still optimistic, however reading between the lines he does not seem satisfied with the reality of it, “I’m sure that nobody wants that to happen. No one wants it to drag out all the way to arbitration. I don’t think a player wants to go to arbitration. I don’t think an organization wants to take someone to arbitration at the end of the day. Maybe something like that happens, but of course we don’t want to.” Parise has made it clear this is a contract option that he would like to surpass.
For all Devils fans, watching Parise move on to another NHL franchise would be nothing new. The fans saw it happen with Brian Rafalski, Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik and most recently, Paul Martin. Seeing one of the best players to wear a Devils sweater leave would be nothing new or different, however it would hurt a lot of fans.
“Seeing Parise walk would definitely hurt,” states Andrew Lazirko, a lifelong Devil fan and frequent game attendee, “Zach is such an elite player. He has represented our country and has made not only New Jersey proud but the entire nation. To see a player like him leave would truly hurt the organization.” Lazirko is referring to Parise’s tying goal in the 2008 Winter Games where his buzzer ending goal forced overtime in the Gold Medal Game at the Vancouver Olympics. Parise instantly became the face of USA hockey. Keeping a player in your organization that has that much talent, respect and heart for the game would be a decision that should not be brought to an arbitration hearing.
However, Lou knows what is best for his organization. Let’s just hope his best is the fan’s best too!