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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

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