Most of the NHL seems to be waiting on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to make free agent decisions. They realize everyone’s watching.
“It’s very stressful. I understand no one wants to be dragging on,” Parise told Josh Rimer on “Night Cap” on nextsportstar.com Tuesday night. “Its a life changing decision. You work hard as a player to put yourself in a good situation to make decisions. I appreciate everyone’s patience, No. 1.”
Parise’s list has reportedly been narrowed to a few teams, but he wouldn’t reveal which teams. The Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils appeared to be the favorites, with the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers in the mix.
“You entertain the offers in the teams that you’re interested in. … you say no to some teams that you’re not interested in,” Parise told Rimer. “I don’t feel comfortable saying who’s in and who’s out.”
The Washington Capitals seem to be very much on the outside looking in to the Parise/Suter process. Asked if he made offers to the highly sought-after free agents, general manager George McPhee was not forthcoming.
“We’ve explored everything and sort of determined what our thresholds would be and once they go beyond a certain threshold we move on,” McPhee said Monday. “You’ve got to do what you think is right in terms of dollars and term. With respect to certain players, if it doesn’t make sense, you don’t do it. It’s got to be right for us.”
Parise and Suter might be right for each other. Comparisons have been made to the Miami Heat getting LeBron James and Chris Bosh together to play alongside Dwyane Wade. But when friends bring up the Heat in text messages, Parise bristles, even though he has a good relationship with Suter.
“We’ve talked. Ryan and I are friends. We’ve definitely talked throughout this thing,” Parise said. “I don’t like when anyone is drawing those comparisons to LeBron.”
Particularly if it’s the Red Wings, Parise and Suter could be an impressive tandem. The Wild, Penguins, Red Wings and Flyers have been linked with both stars.
“I would love to play on a team with a defenseman like Ryan Suter. Immediately you’ve got your top defenseman,” Parise said. “To get an opportunity to play with him would be great.”
Dominos are expected to fall with free agents like Matt Carle waiting for these big-time signings.
“That seems to be part of it. But it’s not a great crop of free agents this summer anyway,” McPhee said Monday, noting that he wasn’t waiting. “I don’t expect to do anything here. I don’t see a whole lot out there.”