I have always been a fan of the Devils, albeit living in Michigan.
Between 1994 and 2012, we've had vastly different looking teams with superstars emerging that we hated to see leave.
Every year the Devils have made the right moves to stay competitive. They have been enjoyable to watch -even when they made the monsterous push but fell short of the playoffs. Outside of the Wings and Devils are there really any franchises that have done what they've done in the past 20 years?
It was tough to see players leave from every one of those teams, Parise is no different. He's not necessarily leaving for the money, but a desire to play in his hometown, similar to what Rafalski did
Honestly, this was a two team race from when July 1st rolled around.
Did Parise and Suter talk about this, hell yeah they did. Anything wrong with that? Hell no. I don't know if the Devils not being players in the Suter market was the death blow.
Will the Devils do what they did this year, next year? Probably not. But this playoff run was just awesome to watch. Knowing it might be Parise's last run with the team made every game a must-watch for me. Powering through the Flyers and Rangers after surviving a scare against Florida was amazing. Standing up to the Kings, and ultimately losing in 6? Nothing to be ashamed of.
One thing Parise did is set himself apart from the likes of Holik and Gomez. Guys have left and rubbed people the wrong way, but guys like Parise and Rafalski were class acts.