Originally posted on Tonight's Healthy Scratches  |  Last updated 1/22/12

The trade deadline looms nearer each day, and NHL analysts are already tearing apart the rosters of the bottom-dwellers of each conference. The Blue Jackets, the Hurricanes, and the Ducks have been deconstructed and sold off in fantasy draft fashion by pundits nearing February 27th, and that includes the members of this site.

But one of the more intriguing deadline scenarios concerned the future of Zach Parise in New Jersey. Friday's acquisition of Alexei Ponikarovsky should put an end to any trade speculation concerning Parise.

Ponikarovsky, despite having a rather disappointing season for the Carolina Hurricanes with seven goals and 15 points in 49 games, was a popular candidate in deadline   to his past success. His awful production the past two seasons overshadows the fact that he has four 20-goal seasons in his career. It makes him worth taking a chance on for the right price.

For a fourth-round pick and an ECHL defenseman, the price was right for Lou Lamoriello.

But what this trade signifies more than anything else is that the Devils are buyers, as a team sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference should be. And while their biggest issue at this point most certainly appears to be goaltending, their other most glaring weakness is secondary scoring. The addition of Ponikarovsky can offer that, or it could fail.

But to take that chance and to part with a mid-level draft pick in the process, Lamoriello appears to be set for a playoff push. And while the risks are high, as Dallas proved last year in losing brad Richards for nothing, it is in New Jersey's best interest in the future to lock up Parise, as there's no guarantee any return package would ever make up for his departure. We got a very grim look last season of what this Devil team looks like without Parise, and thus how they would look for the next 5 years or so were he to leave.

In addition, the Devils don't face the handcuffs the Stars faced in dealing with Richards as the NHL struggled to sell the franchise.

The Devils have no excuse not to sign Parise. The mammoth deal to Ilya Kovalchuk, already uncharacteristic to the Devils, set the precedent for Parise and will perhaps force Lamoriello into a trend of spending with which he's uncomfortable. But he won't have much of a choice.

And as we've learned in the past from his dealings with the likes of Bobby Holik, Brian Rafalski, Paul Martin, and others, Lamoriello has no issue taking his dealings with high-profile fee agents into July. Parise may have to wait until then as well. But with no question, the Devils need Parise, both now and in the future. And Ponikarovsky's arrival in Jersey tells us that at least until the summer, Parise isn't going anywhere.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gordon Hayward suffers gruesome injury in Celtics debut

Todd Frazier: Pressure is back on the Astros

Report: Court sides with Ezekiel Elliott, suspension lifted

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic in hospital after practice fight with teammate

Ranking the 12 teams most likely to make the College Football Playoff

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid calls minutes restriction ‘f—ing bulls—‘

Report: Meeting between NFL owners, players on anthem was very positive

Alex Smith calls Mike Mitchell hit ‘about as flagrant as it gets’

Chris Paul criticizes Clippers' culture, says he had ball too much

Ben Roethlisberger takes shot at reporter over Martavis Bryant rumor

Kyrie Irving will never divulge why he left Cavs: ‘That’s not what grown-ups do’

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

College football 2017 Week 7 predictions

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker