Are the Pens players for Zach Parise now?

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14: (L-R) Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils pose for a photo during the cocktail reception hosted by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter at The Monkey Bar on September 14 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for the NHL)
Day one of the draft, 2012. Hosted in Pittsburgh. Out go Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek ($8 million in combined salary). In come Brandon Sutter, 8th overall pick Derrick Pouliot, defensive prospects Brian Dumoulin, Harrison Ruopp, a 3rd round pick and a minor league goalie Marc Cheverie. (Expected 2012 NHL salary cap hit: Sutter's $2.066 million).

Which means the Penguins have almost $6 million more in cap room for next year, with the oft-rumored Paul Martin and his $5 million hit still supposedly on the board. If Ray Shero wants, he could be back in the free agent game.

And the biggest prize this year is Zach Parise.





The Reasons Why:

--The Pens have cap room to make a serious offer.
--Parise and Sidney Crosby were boys together back at Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota as wee lads, and were/are friends.
--The lure of Consol, brand new facilities, workout equipment and first class accomendations has Pittsburgh as a place to be.
--The Pens can offer a competitive environment and the promise of having Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal to build around, as well as all the defensive prospects to offer what should be a solid playoff contending team for years to come.

The Reasons why not:
--Well, a lot of other teams are going to be hot on Parise. Minnesota (his home market) is said to be willing not to be out-bid. New Jersey is surely not going to let their captain go without a fight. And only one team is going to get Parise, and it's unlikely the Pens come out as the most attractive offer.
--The Pens might have other ideas. Namely using some of their defensive muscle and might to acquire Bobby Ryan from Anaheim, who's also on the block.

Regardless, the Pens now have some cap room after the results of today. Something says that Shero's more towards the beginning, than the end, of his wheeling and dealing.

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