Zach Parise
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The inconsistent New York Islanders need help on offense, and a trade for Minnesota’s Zach Parise is the cure.

Kyle McKenna

While the struggling New Jersey Devils would welcome a reunion with Zach Parise, that dream is nothing more than wishful thinking.

That doesn’t mean that a reunion between the current Minnesota Wild forward and general manager of the New York Islanders, Lou Lamoriello, is ruled out for 2019-20.

In fact, the match and timing are almost too good to be true.

The State of Hockey is on the verge of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second-straight season and Wild general manager Bill Guerin reportedly isn’t “opposed” to selling off assets once the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline arrives (from ‘Rossi: What will Bill Guerin do? A look at the Wild trade landscape as they hit the bye,’ The Athletic, 1/23/2020).

Granted, that factor will depend on where Minnesota is seeded for the Western Conference standings, but the chances are that the Wild would consider selling off veterans and one such as Parise if they’re out of the playoff picture in two weeks.

Why Would Minnesota Trade Parise

After signing the former 40-goal-scorer to a 13-year contract just under $100 million back in the summer of 2012, the Wild are now in a position where it’s time to rebuild.

Minnesota hasn’t advanced past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since Parise’s arrival and the future isn’t exactly bright for the Wild given the mix of veterans and young skaters on their roster. The expectations over the past eight seasons have been to win a Stanley Cup, and with the team on the verge of experiencing consecutive seasons without a playoff berth – it’s apparent change is needed in the State of Hockey and not just behind the bench with head coach Bruce Boudreau.

The Wild’s budget isn’t in prime shape at the moment either. With Parise and his pal, defenseman Ryan Suter, owed a ton of money and during the latter stages of their careers – legitimate contenders can consider adding on those types of contracts, but a not a Wild team that needs to build around other skaters moving forward – the window closed, ‘Sota.

Yes, those all seem like negative reasons to trade Parise, but the timing for a Wild-Parise trade is now for another aspect.

The 35-year-old is on pace for consecutive 60-point seasons for the first time since 2008-09 and the humble leader has already tallied 19 goals this season. Parise is injury prone, but he’s been healthy for the past calendar year – it’s now or potentially never for Minnesota to make a deal worth its time, at least – the value is there at the given moment.

Why The Islanders

After a remarkable 2018-19 campaign, it’s fair to say the Islanders have appeared mortal this season, or worse – bound for tee times on the golf course by the second week in April.

New York is ranked 22nd for the NHL in goals scored this season (140) and it’s no secret teams that are serious about hoisting Lord Stanley need to execute a trade, or two, by the deadline.

If Lamoriello’s full intentions are about executing a run deep into the spring season, which we all know he is, a veteran skater such as Parise is the right fit.

No. 11 would help improve the power-play, add quality leadership and his gritty style of play would complement head coach Barry Trotz’s team-first systems on the ice.

After spending seven successful years under the Lamoriello regime in New Jersey, Parise is no stranger to the Hockey Hall of Famer’s philosophies and both are more than likely eager to win a Stanley Cup ring, together.

Sure, the Islanders would need to free up cap space (over $2 million) and cough up draft picks or prospects, but at this rate – it’s worthwhile for a team that’s one or two players away from appearing in a Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1983-84.

Keep in mind that the Isles have all 21 draft picks available on the board from now until 2022.

Now, Parise’s contract does entail a no-movement clause but if the Minnesota native were to accept a trade –it’s reasonable to think that approval would entail a Lamoriello team and one in position to potentially win a Cup.

Let’s not forget that Parise’s father, J.P., was an Islander for almost a handful of seasons (1974-1978). Parise seems to value pride and legacy – something he could honor furthermore in an orange and blue sweater to finish out his career.

Kyle McKenna is a freelancer who covers the NHL for Elite Sports New York, Hooked On Hockey Magazine & Fansided. Follow him on Twitter @KMcKenna_tLT5 and use the hashtag #McKennasDigest to have your NHL questions featured in an article or answered over his weekly NHL podcast.