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kbooks
06-24-2012, 12:19
Red Wings afternoon news: the Pittsburgh factor and draft pick discussion

by George Malik on 06/24/12 at 02:47 PM ET

Cue the lather, rinse, repeat button regarding last night and this morning’s crop of stories regarding the Pittsburgh Penguins’ pursuit of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, because MLive’s Ansar Khan does his best to break the situation down as succinctly as possible:

As attractive a destination as Detroit would be for Suter and Parise – the opportunity to play with talents like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, for an organization with an unparalleled track record of success the past two decades – Pittsburgh would be just as appealing. Suter must have pondered the possibility of making passes to young superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for years to come. And as much as Parise admires Datsyuk and the way the Red Wings play, the opportunity to be Crosby’s winger for the next half-dozen years or so might be hard to turn down, especially since they are close friends.

Both teams have plenty of cap space. The Red Wings will have roughly $19 million. It probably doesn’t boil down to which team will pay the most. Both clubs surely will tender competitive offers.

Other factors will come into play. Which city do they want to settle down in for the foreseeable future? Which club do they believe gives them the best chance to win the Stanley Cup, now and in the future? Which coach would they prefer to play for, Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma or Detroit’s Mike Babcock?

And other teams will be in the mix. Minnesota has made it clear, through back channels, that it will not be outbid in its attempts to bring Parise back home. He is a Minneapolis native whose father, J.P., played for the old North Stars. The Wild will make a pitch for Suter, too.

The New York Rangers, who seem to be in the mix for every big-name player, figure to be interested as well, despite Parise’s claim that he won’t play for them and reports that Suter is not interested in playing in a big, East Coast market. Perhaps a surprise team will throw its hat into the ring. The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, with plenty of cap space, reportedly are interested in Parise. And there’s always a chance that they could re-sign with their clubs after seeing what’s available on July 1 – in addition to satisfying the NHL Players Association, which undoubtedly is pushing them into testing the market.

Suter, a Wisconsin product who lives in Madison, is said to be a small-town kind of guy who doesn’t like the scrutiny and attention he would receive in a big city. Nashville is ideal for someone like that. But so are Detroit and Pittsburgh. Predators general manager David Poile still believes he has a chance to re-sign Suter, which is why he has resisted trading his negotiating rights.

The Devils reportedly will make a competitive offer to Parise. But the larger question is, will New Jersey, being in dire straits financially, be able to surround their captain with enough talented players to satisfy him? How can that guarantee be made by a club that is in so much debt?

There is no such concern in Pittsburgh, a highly talented team that fizzled in the first round of the playoffs, losing to Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out that the Penguins plan to build around a talented young nucleus featuring Crosby, 24; Malkin, 25; winger James Neal, 24; defenseman Kris Letang, 25; and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, 27.

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