When Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils come into Staples Center on Tuesday night to face the Kings, it could end up being a dry run of sorts for both teams. With the expiring contract of Dustin Penner and the stellar play of Jonathan Quick so far this season, rumors of Parise coming to the Kings in exchange for goaltender Jonathan Bernier will only start to heat up more than they already are.
So what exactly are the odds of Parise’s next game at Staples Center taking place with him in a black sweater? One would think they are fairly good, especially gauging the Devils need to name an heir to one of the greatest goaltenders not named Roy or Dominic or Jacques or Terry, Martin Brodeur. Brodeur has battled injuries in the early season and hasn’t played in nearly two weeks, when he left the ice during the Kings’ visit to Newark on October 13. While he will be on the Staples Center ice on Monday afternoon during the Devils’ skate, the team is saying he still needs 7 to 10 days and a few full team practices under his belt before testing his right shoulder during a game.
So with the 39-year-old starting to break down in net, the Devils clearly need a long term answer to supplant the Brodeur era. That’s when Jonathan Bernier comes into play. With the Kings needing to pick one of the Jonathans at some point, Quick is quickly showing that he’s the odds on favorite to stick around in Los Angeles. With each shutout and prolonging of his franchise record scoreless streak, Quick gets closer and closer to becoming one of the best goalies in Kings history, not just current roster. Besides, with the strong play of Martin Jones for the Kings in the AHL, dealing Bernier would not hinder the Kings chances of resting Quick, as Jones is more than capable of having success as the backup.
Plus, when you take into account the Kings’ roster and their “The Time is Now” mantra, acquiring Zach Parise in February would not only make the Kings the easy favorite to win the Western Conference this season, but solidify the Kings top six for years, assuming the Kings would be able to re-sign Parise to a long term deal. That should be without question however, since last season Dean Lombardi was reluctant to trade for Brad Richards without negotiating a contract extension. So with Parise into the fold and with the exception of Simon Gagne whose contract expires after 2013, the Kings would have the top six intact for multiple seasons into the primes of Kopitar and Richards and Parise.
So as Parise takes the ice at the ‘The Stape’ on Tuesday, try to imagine the man in black, because most already are. Heck, the Kings are already preparing for it, as they are planning to rest the sizzling Jonathan Quick, giving Bernier a start against the Devils. Showcasing anyone?
Blame me for the Photoshop.