NHL Trade Deadline: 10 Teams That Could Pursue New Jersey's Zach Parise

Roman Uschak@@RomanUschakCorrespondent INovember 28, 2011

NHL Trade Deadline: 10 Teams That Could Pursue New Jersey's Zach Parise

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    New Jersey Devils' Zach Parise will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2011-12 season, but will he return to the only NHL team he's ever known?

    Here's a look at some teams that might come calling for his services at the trade deadline in March if the Devils don't think they can re-sign him, with some being more likely destinations than others.

Los Angeles Kings

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    Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes the save on a shot by Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    The Kings could use another scorer in support of goaltender Jon Quick, and just imagine Parise paired up front with Anze Kopitar.

    The Devils could ask for defenseman Jack Johnson in return. His plus-minus hasn't been anything to write home about, but he has great offensive upside and would also bring a physical presence.

    A more likely return would be goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who is Quick's backup, but is also NHL-tested.

Vancouver Canucks

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    Vancouver Canucks' goalie Roberto Luongo, right, comes off the bench to replace goalie Cory Schneider after Schneider allowed a five goals to the Anaheim Ducks during second period NHL hockey action in Vancouver on Saturday, January 19, 2013. THE CANADIAN
    DARRYL DYCK/Associated Press

    The Canucks could simply swap Parise for backup goaltender Cory Schneider, who will also be an unrestricted free agent next year, assuming Vancouver is willing to let Schneider go with starter Roberto Luongo being a hit or miss come playoff time.

Winnipeg Jets

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    Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Ladd skates against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    The former Atlanta Thrashers franchise could use another marquee name in its second season in Manitoba, especially a bona fide scorer like Parise. He would be a great addition to a young cast of Jets forwards with a large upside, led by captain Andrew Ladd.

New York Rangers

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    New York Rangers' Brad Richards follows through on a shot past Pittsburgh Penguins' Brooks Orpik (44) for a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, in New York.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    The Rangers have shown a willingness to throw money around in the past, and snagging Parise from their cross-river rival would be a coup.

    But don't expect the Devils to trade him to New York, where he could definitely hurt them come playoff time. It's not like they'd get Brad Richards for him, anyway.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    Pittsburgh Penguins' Jordan Staal (11) collides with Carolina Hurricanes' Jaroslav Spacek (8) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    New Jersey might be willing to deal Parise to the Hurricanes for Eric Staal, who is off to a poor start so far this season (four goals and 10 points in 24 games) and might be in need of a change of address.

    The highly-talented Staal also killed the Devils with his late game-winning goal in Game 7 in the first round of the 2009 playoffs, How ironic would it be to bring him to Newark, N.J., just three years later?

Detroit Red Wings

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    St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (52), of Sweden, battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    The Red Wings always seem to come up with great players, although that's usually through their own drafting or free-agent signings. But Parise would definitely give them another weapon in their lineup alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

Calgary Flames

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    Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla (12) waits for a face-off against the Nashville Predators in the second period of an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    The Devils could try to get Jarome Iginla, if he wanted out of Calgary (which he doesn't seem to). But he's older now and has some wear and tear on him, and Parise probably has more upside than Iginla at this point.

Edmonton Oilers

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    Edmonton Oiler goaltender Martin Gerber makes a save during first period NHL hockey action against the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa on Monday November 29, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit
    Pawel Dwulit/Associated Press

    At age 27, Parise might be almost a greybeard among the Oilers' young guns like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but he might hasten their development even further by adding a scorer like himself to their roster.

    New Jersey could get an experienced player like Shawn Horcoff and/or Tom Gilbert in the deal, but there's no way Edmonton would give up its top two fledgling forwards in Hall and Nugent-Hopkins.

San Jose Sharks

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    San Jose Sharks' Scott Nichol shoots against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Could Parise be the X-factor that finally gets the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Finals? His work ethic and scoring touch would only complement the lineup, and could take some pressure off Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

    An equitable trade might include Ryan Clowe, who could provide the Devils with both scoring and literal punch up front. Joe Pavelski might be another possibility.

Minnesota Wild

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    Minnesota Wild's Kyle Brodziak is congratulated by teammates after he scored in the first period against the San Jose Sharks in an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy King)
    Andy King/Associated Press

    Even though I said differently before, the Devils could perhaps try to swap Parise straight up for goaltender Niklas Backstrom in preparation for the day when Martin Brodeur no longer protects the Devils' net—which could happen as early as 2012.