Under normal circumstances, locking yourself into a 38-year-old on a new contract isn't always the wisest decision. That's especially the case when you play for the Islanders, one of the oldest teams in the league who is all but a lock to miss the playoffs this year.
Zach Parise is the exception to this rule. Today, along with Cal Clutterbuck, Parise got himself a new contract to stick with the New York Islanders and I love it.
Parise, for the second year in a row, will be on the league minimum for New York and I couldn't be more thrilled that he's coming back to the Islanders next season. He is everything you want from a third line player.
He is good defensively, he's good depth scoring, can play on either special teams unit and he plays the game the right way. He doesn't look like a 37-year-old hockey player when he is out there with his skating and nobody could ever question his effort.
Production-wise, he's given the Islanders 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) in 60 games. That may not jump off the page but still, that is a pace of 33 points over a full 82 game season. In fact, 20 of those 24 points have come in the last 38 games. If you use that 38 game stretch over an 82 game pace, that's 43 points and 17 goals.
Recently, Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic updated his player cards which try to give a value for each player in the league. His model has Parise projected for 39 points and 16 goals which has him at a $5.1 million on the market value. The Islanders have him locked up for $750,000 this year and next year against the cap. Heck, even if they doubled his money up to $1.5 million against the cap it would be well worth it. Luckily for the Islanders and Lou Lamoriello, it will come in at the extremely team-friendly veteran minimum.
According to CapFriendly, the Islanders will have $11.3 million in cap space heading into next year and could theoretically create an additional $5 million if they decided to trade Semyon Varlamov. They have the ability to add to their core next year and one of those guys you want on this team helping them fight for a playoff spot and Stanley Cup next year is Zach Parise.
Sure, I understand some will say that you could've traded him and then brought him back but can we look at it from this lense for a second? Zach Parise signed with the Islanders and wanted to stay. Even in a down year, when he could've chased a Stanley Cup, something he's never won in this league, he decided he wanted to stay because he liked it here. Five years ago, that would be just a dream. The Islanders because of Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have built a winning culture and people see that.
Sign me up for Parise - Pageau - Bailey as the third line next year and let's get back to business.