NHL Free Agency: Blackhawks and Others Offer Zach Parise $100 Million Contract

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst IJuly 2, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 09:  Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils skates with puck against the Los Angeles Kings during Game Five of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on June 9, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

According to Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger (h/t nj.com), the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins have offered unrestricted free agent Zach Parise a 12- to 13-year contract in the neighborhood of $100 million.

The Blackhawks are the most surprising team on this list as the key needs for them seem to be on defense, center and possibly in goal, whereas Parise is a career left wing.

The 'Hawks are a bit thin on the left side with Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, Daniel Carcillo and Michael Frolik listed as the team's left wings, and of the four list they only seem to have one who fits in the top six, that being Sharp.

Interestingly enough, Sharp has also seen time at center, and when he does need to play up the middle there is very little depth at that position.

Many fans of the Blackhawks view their interest in Parise as the work of Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough, who many believe was the orchestrator of the Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet signings.

Those signings, more so the Campbell signing, in part did lead to the Blackhawks' emergence as a Western Conference power and also led them to their first Stanley Cup in almost 50 years.

However, the repercussions of making the big splash are felt after winning the Stanley Cup when you have younger players looking for raises. In the Blackhawks' case you had players like Andrew Ladd, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Antti Niemi all looking for paydays as RFAs, with the 'Hawks needing to lock up key players like Toews, Kane and Keith for the long haul. 

So back to the present.

When the 'Hawks are thinking about signing Parise they need to consider the future and what players might need to be moved to make way for a big signing like Parise. Names that might be on the block if he does become a 'Hawk would be Michael Frolik, Steve Montador, Niklas Hjalmarsson and potentially Dave Bolland. 

All those players could be considered expendable to create cap space; if Parise is signed, are you willing to part with those players, Blackhawks fans?

Personally, with the exception of Dave Bolland I wouldn't mind seeing any of these players moved as it would allow for the 'Hawks to push some of their experienced prospects into the NHL lineup and would be far cheaper. 

Of course this is all speculation as of now, but it is believed that we could know Parise's decision as early as tomorrow. However until then we will just have to sit, wait and watch where all the chips fall.