The Chicago Blackhawks began Monday ending their pursuit of one New Jersey Devil. They ended Monday going after another one.
The Blackhawks are one of several teams in the hunt for Devils forward Zach Parise, a superstar who would bring plenty to whichever team eventually wins him. Based on reports, the Blackhawks, Penguins, Wild and Devils are among those in the hunt. Parise told reporters on Monday that hell talk to his family and weigh his options before making a decision, one that will obviously impact a good deal of his life and career.
Yes, Parise is an unbelievable talent, a stellar young forward who can enhance any team. And the Blackhawks making a free-agency splash would show theyre determined to return to recent Cup glory. Parise may be who the Blackhawks want.
But is Parise who the Blackhawks need? If the Blackhawks are good in one area, its scoring. Their superstar forwards did just fine in that category last year, thank you very much.
Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane made a great combination early. Jonathan Toews was making a bid for the Hart Trophy before suffering his concussion. And Patrick Sharp was, once again, the Blackhawks most consistent scorer from seasons start to finish. Even with that God-awful power play last season, the Blackhawks were ranked sixth in the league in goals scored with 241 (2.94 per game).
Producing enough goals isnt the Blackhawks problem. Allowing too many is.
The Blackhawks were ranked 22nd in the league last year in goals allowed, giving up 231 for the season (2.82 per game). Between a defense and a goaltender that struggled, this was a real sore spot for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford was up and down, making great stops a few games in a row and then allowing too many bad ones the next few contests. The defense in front of Crawford had its problems, too. It was a combination that had the Blackhawks in a lot of close games, and not recording one shutout throughout the season.
Parise is a tremendous talent, theres no denying that. And he would make a nice, young jewel in the Blackhawks crown of gifted forwards. But his acquisition wouldnt address the Blackhawks biggest needs.
The Blackhawks have made their pitch. They will go after Parise. And if they land him theyll be fine in the goal-scoring department. But the goal allowing one, that will still be a concern.