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Devils say financial problems won’t affect Parise deal


Despite an ownership rift and the league keeping them financially afloat, the New Jersey Devils say they won’t let financial issues affect potentially re-upping with star LW Zach Parise.

“The only thing I’ve been told is it’s not going to make a difference. There won’t be any problems,” Parise told The Star-Ledger. “That’s what I’m going on. I don’t really know enough about what’s happening behind the scenes with the ownership.”

And just what exactly is happening with ownership? Well, there’s still the small matter of repaying/refinancing an $80-million loan that’s gone into you can see why negotiating with Parise might not be priority No. 1 at the moment.

But it could be a priority soon. While Devils GM Lou Lamoriello isn’t one to negotiate contracts during the season -- only once has LouLam made an exception, and that was for Martin Brodeur -- the unique situation at hand might force him to. There’s a strong possibility the following scenario unfolds:

-- New Jersey keeps Parise past the trade deadline, unsigned.

-- New Jersey misses the playoffs.

-- Parise goes to July 1 and becomes an unrestricted free agent.

If this does transpire, it could be curtains for New Jersey. Parise’s stated publicly he wants to play for a winner and a team willing to spend to the cap (something the Devils might not be, regardless of what they say publicly.) There’s also the allure of being a UFA for the first time in his career in an offseason where the likes of Los Angeles, New York Rangers, Washington and Detroit are projected to have over $14 million in available cap space.