However, teammate and pending free agent netminder Martin Brodeur was quick to say that the team needs to sign their captain to an extension before he hits the open market as the most coveted forward of the league.
"I think Zach is a big thing that the organization has to take care of first, there's no doubt about that," Brodeur told the paper. "They need to try to lock him in and lure him into staying. He's a franchise player. He's a guy fans love, and as a captain, he's a great leader. He did a great job in his first year as a captain to bring a team that was counted out early in the season to what we almost accomplished. It was pretty impressive."
It remains to be seen if the Devils will be able to keep Parise in New Jersey. Several teams across the league, including big players like the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild, are expected to compete hard for the 27-year-old, who is sure to boost the offense of any club that acquires him.
Parise is most likely to wear the uniform of a contender next season, and with the Devils making it to the Finals after beating rivals Philadelphia Flyers and Rangers, the team that selected him 17th overall in 2003 could still have a shot at keeping him.
"No one expected us to be here," Parise said. "Nobody expected us to get past the Flyers or the Rangers. We played hard. We all believed in each other and what we wanted to do. Unfortunately, it didn't end the way we wanted it to."
The Devils will need to get back to business fast and start negotiations with Parise to ensure that this storyline ends the way they want it to.