Not to totally derail this thread, but until the schedules gets announced: Parise will get it. Langenbrunner will get it if he signs with the Wild. Holik got it. Niedermayer got it. Kovalchuk won't ever be in the USA to get a lashing from Devils fans. I get the frustration and anger, but it be great if we could cheer half as hard as we boo for ex-Devils when they come to town.
It's not like the Devils honoured past players like Madden, Gionta, Pandolfo, or Rafalski when they came back to town. 4 key contributors in a bunch of Cups (Gionta is a stretch in 03), and all 4 left because the Devils no longer wanted them or thought they weren't worth as much as the market said. That's the business. We get on athletes for being selfish or choosing what is best for themselves, but when the team chooses what's best for themselves, we don't even think twice. We barely even acknowledge their contributions.
In game 1, is anyone going to give Zidlicky a standing ovation for passing on multi-year offers to stay with Devilsf for 1. Of course not. It seems silly to even suggest. If we are going to boo Parise or anyone else, doesn't Elias deserve a gigantic standing ovation and chants of "Patty Patty" or "Thank You Patty" during the first game for staying as a lifelong Devil? Shouldn't there be signs for him as well. Because there will be signs for Zach for that first game. And there will be negative chants as well. I'd like to think the positive of Elias staying should outweigh the negativity of Parise leaving.
Not saying this is exclusive to this fanbase. This is how it goes in sports in general. That's why I'll never get on an athlete for going anywhere they want or taking any amount of money they want. Be selfish, because it doesn't matter how many discount deals or unselfish decisions you make. The moment you lose your value, or make too much money or can't produce, the team and the fans will turn on you.
Edit: And I see some more comments about Zach secretly planning this exit or telling people he'd stay. As we know everyone got him for that, but no one cares when the team doesn't hold up their end of the bargain to the player. Don't hear about fans leaving their favourite team because they backstabbed a player and following the player to a new team. If you know it is a business, treat it like it is a business for both the player and the team.