Now, don't get me wrong, I want Parise to stay more than anything, and in hindsight I wish he was the one with the Kovy contract. But lets face the facts, the possibility of Parise being moved is at an all-time high, between the approaching trade deadline and the billion articles about the financial clusterf**k that the Devils are in.
So, facing the facts and admitting the reality of the situation, I can't help but hope that Lou will make the right choices. I hate to see the Devils in the middle of the pack; I think they can be far better than just an early round playoff team, and I personally wouldn't mind another season or two of lackluster play for the sake of rebuilding. Since the lockout, other teams, such as the Blackhawks, Penguins, and even the Oilers (now, finally) have used the draft to reconstruct their philosophies in order to keep up with the changing league. Instead, we have traded to gain our club, which hasn't seemed to work. This, (and again, I wish it were Kovy who we had this problem with) could be our chance to set up an amazing team for the future.
I've spent the last few weeks going through rosters trying to figure out some great trade combos so that we wind up winning out in the end, but I totally forgot about the Blues. He wouldn't work in LA, although Bernier in red would be awesome; and Minnesota, as far as I am concerned, doesn't have the prospective depth that I think we need with the exception of Matt Hackett, and he is just not worth Parise.
Here is the potential trade I would consider:
Parise and maybe a second round draft pick, or a prospect like Tedenby, for Halak, Jaden Schwartz and their first round draft pick.
Here is why this would work for both teams:
The Blues are solid at center for the good part of the next few years with Backes, Arnott, Steen, McDonald, Oshie, and Berglund, and could use more depth at wing.
They are also solid in net (at least for this season) with Elliot. Although Halak didn't live up to expectations, he is still a great goalie with a ton of potential, and could carry our team as a starter until some of our prospects are ready to take the lead.
Considering that they are playing their best hockey in years, competing with the Wings and Hawks (and doing a great job), I think they'd be willing to take Parise regardless of his impeding expired contract, so long as it improves their chances in the playoffs, which it undoubtedly would.
As for the Devs, it would give us another elite prospect in Schwartz, who based on his highlight reel here, looks like a promising offensive powerhouse for the future. With him, Henrique, and Josefson, in the next few years we could have the sort of center depth necessary to compete with the best.
With Halak, as I said he isn't as good as he was once projected to be, he is still a solid goalie, one that could carry the team until we raise another Brodeur (fingers crossed!).
And with another draft pick, we could potentially have a chance at Malcom Subban, (PK's little brother) who is rumored to be a solid net-minder in the future, or we could have the chance at two wingers, or even a winger and a defenseman. With that kind of youth movement, we might be watching other teams in the playoff mix for the next few years, but it could promise a steel core of homegrown Devils, the way we did it back in the day when Niedermayer, Gionta, and Danyeko wore no other jerseys than our own.