With the New Jersey Devils losing to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night, the NHL season came to a close. The Kings won the Stanley Cup by knocking off the Devils in six games, and the offseason has now officially arrived for the entire league. The time for all of the speculation and rumors to start swirling about where Devils forward Zach Parise will sign has also arrived. As Chris Vannini tweeted, "Parise Watch" is now underway.
In reality, Red Wings fans have been on "Parise Watch" for the better part of a year. They have also been keeping an eye for quite some time on Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter, who will likely be the Red Wings' top target when free agency opens on July 1. Consider Suter to be target 1A and Parise 1B, because they will be the top free agents on the open market, and both are expected to command interest from several teams, including the Red Wings.
Although rumors have already been swirling about Parise and the Red Wings for a while, the focus is now squarely on his future with his season actually being over. When the Predators were eliminated a month ago, the same thing happened with Suter. All of the focus turned to Suter's future, and although things were relatively quiet in the week or so after his season ended, the activity has since picked up quite a bit.
With free agency 19 days away, you can bet there will be plenty of rumors swirling about Parise in the coming weeks, and quite a few of them will almost certainly involve the Red Wings.