Just two days after the New Jersey Devils lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Los Angeles Kings, Devils captain and impending free agent Zach Parise bluntly dismissed any talk of joining the team across the Hudson River, the New York Rangers.
Despite that, the Rangers intend to make a play for the 27-year-old Parise when the free-agent period begins July 1, the New York Post reports. Another potential target: Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin. From the New York Post report:
Stymied thus far in his attempts to acquire the offensive force the Rangers likely need in order to take the next step following their so-near-and-yet-so-far 2011-12, Sather indicated his team would dive into the free agent pool that isn’t all that deep.
“The closer to the top you are, you have to be a little more aggressive if you want to get better,” the GM said. “If you trade, you have to give away assets, but in free agency you’re just giving away money and [taking] the chance the cap might shrink.
“I think we’re going to try to be as aggressive as possible in the free agent market.”
Parise and Semin are considered the top two sniper targets on the free-agent market. The Rangers are looking to add an elite offensive player after they scored only 2.15 goals per game in the NHL Playoffs. The Rangers bowed out in six games in the Eastern Conference finals against the Devils.
The Post notes that the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild are also expected to be among the clubs that make a play for Parise.