With a goal and an assist in the New York Islanders 4-3 OTL against the San Jose Sharks, Zach Parise now has 400 goals and 831 points in 1,107 career games in the NHL. Hitting 400 career goals is a hell of an achievement. Only 104 players have ever hit 400 goals in NHL history.
Parise now has 21 points on the year. That's a pace of 37 points over a full season. Signed to a single-year league-minimum contract in the offseason, getting that type of production from Parise is...well excellent. There's no other way to say it.
But Parise's impact goes beyond just his production. He's been one of - if not the - best player on the team this season. Even when the production wasn't necessarily there. And while trading him at the trade deadline makes sense, keeping him this year and extending him another year also makes sense.
New York Islanders: Should they re-sign Zach Parise now?
If you were to draw up the perfect depth player he'd be a guy who can score, be a tireless worker, create opportunities, and give up very few. That's Zach Parise. He's been all of those things for the Islanders in 2021-22. It's why he's been up on the top line with Mathew Barzal the past few games.
Now, that's a problem the Islanders have to address as soon as possible. A depth player shouldn't necessarily be playing his way up to the top of the depth chart per se. But that's the state of the Islanders right now. And certainly not Parise's fault.
The offseason plan has to be addressing the talent issue at the top end of the roster. If the Islanders actually do that remains to be seen, but if they do, or don't, they'll still have a need for solid depth players at the bottom half of the forward roster. Having Parise there again next year makes a ton of sense.
So should the Islanders extend the pending UFA now and get that out of the way?
I don't think so. Not just yet at least. The Islanders should explore moving him at the trade deadline first. Lou Lamoriello has to gauge the return for Parise in the trade market before contemplating extending him. Because if we're talking about a second-round pick for Parise then the Islanders must make that trade.
Getting a second-round pick is a return the Islanders could use in their attempts to retool the lineup for 2022-23. The Islanders can't pass up that type of return. Keep in mind that trading him at the deadline doesn't mean he won't return to the Isles next year.
But if the return is a late-round pick then the Isles skip out on that return and re-up on Parise for next season.