- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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I present four regular-season point totals: 69 points, 67 points, 59 points and 57 points.
What might surprise the casual fan is which player generated which point total: Parise with 69 points this season, Parenteau with 67 points, Nash with 59 points and Ryan with 57 points.
OK, I get it. Point totals are only a partial measure of a player’s ability. No question. And it’s clear Parise and Nash stand above in overall talent, with Ryan just a level below.
But Parenteau is an underrated player, one that has flown under the radar because he plied his trade on Long Island. You might argue he boosted his point total only because he played with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. But you could also argue Parenteau’s playmaking abilities helped Tavares and Moulson find the back of the net.
Finally, I get to my point. While you can see the reasoning in what the Columbus Blue Jackets are doing with Nash -- waiting until Parise signs, so that all those teams that struck out on him come scrambling to the Jackets with a re-energized offer for Nash -- it’s not that simple.
It might happen with some teams, but not all.
As pointed out last weekend, Bobby Ryan is another option and one that carries a better contract. Anaheim should get plenty of traction on him once Parise signs.
But even with Ryan, you have to give up good assets to get him.
There sits Parenteau on Sunday as an unrestricted free agent, available without having to give up any assets. Judging from the conversations I’ve had with a few teams over the past week, I think he’s a player that’s going to generate more interest than most people believe.
That should indeed be the case, as Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has put considerable time in to negotiations with Price’s camp over the past month, and we should see a new deal for the Habs No. 1 in the near future.
Price, a restricted free agent as of Sunday, is coming off a two-year deal in which he earned an average of $2.75 million a year. He should at least double that in his new deal. I don’t think you’ll see a 10-year deal like Quick did in L.A., but somewhere from five-to-seven years is a possibility.
Rask and his agent Bill Zito, by the way, made a smart move in signing for only one year. Rask gets a chance to pump his value up by having a big year as a No. 1 goalie, which will put him in a better position to sign a better contract. Similarly, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli played this well. He’s got to know for sure whether Rask is No. 1 material before signing him to a long-term deal. Now he’ll find out.
As of this past Tuesday, teams were allowed to approach pending RFAs and talk to them about offer sheets. You always wonder whether a team would dare with Shea Weber. But a source close to Weber told ESPN.com Thursday night that nothing of that nature was going on at this point. The Predators, besides, would almost surely match any offer sheet.
2dScott Burnside and Craig Custance