Zach Parise, the New Jersey Devils captain who led his team to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, will reportedly receive the most money as a free agent this off-season in an offer from the Minnesota Wild, according to former Wild general manager, Lou Nanne.
According to NBC Sports, Nanne told KFAN Sports Radio that Wild owner Craig Leopold is going to aggressively pursue Parise this off-season and if the Devils captain signs with another team, it will certainly be for less money than what the Wild offer him:
“I had dinner with [Wild owner] Craig Leipold on Wednesday night,” Nanne said. “I know Chuck Fletcher and Leipold really want Parise, and what Craig told me is how hard he’s going to go after him, and the kind of money he’s going after him [with] — I don’t see how Parise’s not coming here.
[I] can tell you this: No one is going to outbid the Wild. So if Parise goes somewhere else, you can bet he’s going for less money. What I said is, ‘the kind of money that they’re going to offer him, he might as well just come here and own the team and in his later years, win the Stanley Cup as an owner.”
Nanne wouldnt disclose the figure that Leopold told him over dinner but did say it's an offer that will be very hard to refuse:
“In confidence of him, I’m not going to say the figure — but it’s going to be plenty. It is going to be a lot more than I ever expected and you will find out, because once July 1st comes, you’ll be aware of the numbers.
It is going to be so substantial that I cannot see Zach Parise turning it down.”
The Wild will have an estimated $21 million to spend during this off-season and will have another $12 million come off the books in 2014 from shedding the contracts of Dany Heatley and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Tom Gulitti, the Devils beat reporter for The Record, tweeted on Wednesday that Parise said he wants to return to New Jersey and that there's "no way" he signs with the New York Rangers.