With only two games remaining on the Islanders schedule this season I want to take this opportunity to look at a possible move that could shake things up in Islander country. As of now the Islanders roster is comprised of homegrown talent such as John Tavares, Andrew MacDonald, and Frans Nielsen as well as players getting a second chance like Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner, PA Parenteau, and Al Montoya.
If you were to engage in conversation with an Islanders fan they will certainly tell you they are happy with the direction of the team, but also they may say something along the lines of “We really need a new arena, the Coliseum is a piece of ****, no big free agents want to sign here.”
There may be some truth behind that but there is one player out there with some family ties to Long Island that has the potential to be pried from his current team. I speak of course of New Jersey Devils winger Zach Parise.
Parise, a restricted free agent this off-season, has missed nearly the entire season with a torn meniscus in his right knee. Couple that with the large contract of Ilya Kovalchuk and that opens up the door to the possibility…What price tag would be too high for the Devils to match and lead to Zach lacing up his skates in a new zip code next season?
With many teams eyeing the coveted soon to be free agent Brad Richards, the Islanders are one of the few teams that have the financial flexibility to make a strong offer to lure Parise from the Devils. I understand some fans may be hesitant to make a lucrative offer to a player who has only seen action in 13 games this season due to injury, well let me refute that by saying prior to this season Parise only missed 3 games in the previous five seasons. Let us not forget the monumental game-tying goal he scored with only 24 seconds left to go in the 3rd period for Team USA to send the game into overtime against the much more talented Team Canada. I see no reason Garth Snow should not attempt to make a play at a player that has three 30+ goal seasons along with a 40+ goal season on his hockey resume. I also like the fact that Parise is a leader. The Islanders are a team on the market for a captain. As I look up and down the Isles talented young roster, a team with playoff expectations next season, the ony flaw I believe that could hurt them is their lack of experience. I think we can all attest to the fact that the playoffs bring about a much different brand of hockey than the regular season. Zach is a great heart and soul player that would bring so many intangibles to this youthful squad.
Now I do not want to get Islanders fans hopes up that this is imminent and Parise will be wearing a blue and orange sweater next season, but at only 26 years of age, I say why not?