Bottom line, I don't have any regrets about the whole saga (we don't make it to the 2012 SCF without him, and ultimately I think Parise would have left anyway), but it was probably for the best that he left when he did. I still think there's a good shot we would have made the playoffs last year had he been here, but, in all likelihood we would not have gotten the pick back this past year. If Quenneville turns into a pretty good NHLer, or is part of a trade package for another good player, it would have been worth the mediocre result this past year. In the meantime, for all intents and purposes the cap hit is gone, and you wouldn't have to plan around the inevitable cap recapture, even if it would have been five to six years away.
And who knows, maybe there was something to the rumors that he's trying to find a way to return. But really it looks like the team has turned a corner. Perhaps the discussion here should as well.
EDIT: I'll also add that Kovalchuk brought a ton of excitement while he was here. Perhaps it doesn't mean anything to the Mr. Spock's of the world, but there you have it.