I'm so sick of any talk about loyalty. There is next to no loyalty in sports. There is rarely loyalty from GMs to players, players to GM. Players sign a long-term deal and ask to be traded the soon things get bad. Players sign a long-term deal without a NTC and get dealt immediately months after buying a new home and getting settled, or promises made to them by the GM and owners are not kept. And there is certainly no loyalty between players and fans. Fans jump on players the second their production is down, no matter what they have accomplished, not even thinking about what's going on be it a messy divorce, a family member being sick, any other personal thing, or playing through an injury.
No matter where Zach goes, he'll be considered a traitor. If he takes the cash in Minny, he'll be the new Holik, but how many people can pass on perhaps 15-20+ million more, a chance to play in your home state and be considered a local hero for a passionate fanbase that has deserved so much more than they have gotten. If he goes to Pittsburgh, he'll be a loser that doesn't want to write in his own history and instead be a third banana, even though it's a great opportunity and a chance to play on a line with the best player in the game. But if he stays in NJ, he'll be cheered for a while until the first time his level of play dips, and people will be ripping the contract and saying what a poor decision it was to pay top dollar for an overrated NHLer. How quickly did fans get on Kovalchuk, be it with boos in the arena or message board rants?. Didn't one fan throw his jersey on the ice? This isn't a knock on Devils fans specifically, just the way it is with all fans. The first extended slump, it's happening in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sports world. It's really a lose-lose.
In the end, Zach Parise doesn't owe much to this organization or fanbase. Yes they drafted him but if they didn't, it be the next team picking or the next after that. Since day 1 he's been a consummate professional, a class act and given it his all every single team he got on the ice. He's now a free agent and has the opportunity to chose any team he desires. That's his right he's been given. He's going to make the best decision for himself. Regardless what many people here think, he isn't going to be brainwashed by his agents or his father. He'll seek guidance, but he can figure things out himself. He knows what NJ has to offer be it the good or bad. But put yourself in his position being wooed like possibly no free agent in NHL history. There are no right or wrong choices from the teams involved. This is the rest of his career we are talking about, so he should take as long as he needs.
Edited by devilsrule33, 02 July 2012 - 06:03 PM.