Zach Parise not considering Rangers

Updated: June 15, 2012, 9:41 AM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- With the New Jersey Devils' season over and free agency only weeks away, there are several questions facing captain Zach Parise and his future with the team.

He answered one of those Wednesday when he unequivocally ruled out playing for the rival New York Rangers.

Asked three separate times whether he'd consider playing for the Rangers, Parise was unwavering in his responses.

"No."

The 27-year-old winger is set to become one of the most coveted unrestricted free agents on July 1, and the Rangers were expected to be one of his most aggressive suitors.

But from the way Parise made it sound during the team's locker clean-out day, the Rangers shouldn't even waste their time trying.

Among the front-runners expected to compete for Parise, assuming he hits the open market, the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild all are expected to make a strong push.

Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said re-signing Parise, who earned in excess of $5 million last season, would be a priority for the Eastern Conference champions.

The Rangers have a successful track record of landing some of the most elite free agents in recent history, including signing Brad Richards to a nine-year, $60 million deal in July 2011 and Marian Gaborik to a five-year, $37.5 million contract in 2009.

The Devils bounced the Rangers from the playoffs last month, beating them in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The bitter resentment between the rivals was evident on the ice, and it clearly hasn't abated for Parise.

Parise must have known the firestorm his comments would make, too.

After offering "no" to the question posed multiple ways, Parise added: "Don't try to get a headline out of it."

information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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