May 30, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise during game one of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Kings at the Prudential Center. The Kings won 1-0 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Money talks and the Flyers have a lot of it, but it certainly doesn't seem like we'll be welcoming Zach Parise or Ryan Suter to Philadelphia in the next few weeks. The two biggest prizes on the free agency market have spoken up in recent days -- either directly or indirectly -- and from what we're able to gather, it certainly doesn't seem like either player has an interest in wearing orange and black next season.
First, the case of Ryan Suter. From CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio today:
According to a well-placed source, Suter has a potential list of clubs he would be willing to talk to even if his rights were traded before July 1. Suter is represented by Neil Sheehy. Alas, the Flyers are not one of them. In fact, the source said, all of Suter's preferred destinations, should he leave the Predators, are in the Western Conference - not the East. Detroit is generally conceded to be his top choice.
Suter's rights aren't coming here before July 1, and if he leaves Nashville at all, it's to a team in the West. Alrighty, then. Suter would be a great addition to the blue line for every reason we already know, and he's definitely the only UFA who can even come close to filling Chris Pronger's shoes on the blueline. But it certainly seems like we should give up the dream at this point and focus on some more realistic options come July 1.
Now, about that Parise guy.
During Devils breakup day on Wednesday, Parise told the media very bluntly:
Parise said he wants to come back and"no way" he signs with Rangers— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) June 13, 2012
That's not just a player being nice to Devils fans two days after the lost the Stanley Cup. There are plenty of ways to work around questions about your potential departure besides saying there's "no way" he's going to the team's chief rival. He could have simply said something like, "Well, it's a business and anything can happen. I haven't talked to Lou and I don't know what the future holds. My desire is to stay in New Jersey." ... and nobody would have blinked.
Saying that there's "no way" he's going to the Rangers implies something much deeper -- that he's not going to jump ship to the team's biggest rival. That he wouldn't do that to his teammates and the Devils organization that made him who he is today.
You're probably asking how that relates to the Flyers, but I have to imagine Parise sees the Rangers and Flyers in basically the same light. The teams both have the money to court him, but since Parise seems to be taking money out of the equation -- that's what taking the Rangers out of the equation is, right? -- this decision seems to be about not going to a Devils rival.
Could it all be bluffing on Parise's part? Sure, and it would be really funny in the aftermath of what he said Wednesday if he were to come to Philly or New York anyway. But I highly doubt it's happening.
"I had dinner with Craig Leipold on Wednesday night. I know Chuck Fletcher and Craig 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, 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. [...] I'm not going to say the figure, but it's going to be plenty. It's gonna be a lot more than I ever expected. It's gonna be so substantial that I cannot see Zach Parise turning it down."
That's even more evidence stacking up against the Flyers. He's not coming to Philadelphia for less money -- not to a Devils rival. If the Flyers want him, they're paying for him, and it looks as though there are other teams prepared to spend more than the Flyers should ever have to or want to for Parise's services.