On a crazy day that saw the Blackhawks come from nowhere to find themselves on Zach Parise's shortlist of teams he would consider playing for, the top free agent forward on the market said late Monday he needed more time to make a decision.
Parise planned to head home to Minnesota to discuss the situation with his family before announcing his decision.
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"I'm getting closer, but I haven't made any decisions," Parise told reporters who gathered at his agent's Toronto office. "I've set no deadlines."
It's believed the Hawks, Pittsburgh, Detroit, New Jersey, the Minnesota Wild and Philadelphia are the teams still on Parise's list.
"We have throughly deliberated every aspect with Zach," Parise's agent, Wade Arnott, told TSN. "He wishes to step back and review all with his fiancee and family. We could be drawing closer to a decision.
"I know everybody's impatient and there's incredible suspense, but he's been a free agent since 11 (Sunday), is being thrown $100 million offers and has to make a decision where he is basically going to spend the rest of his career. That's not an easy one.
"Does he want to come home, play in front of family and friends and put the Wild on the map? Does he want to go to teams already on the map and play with Sid and Geno, Toews and Hossa, Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Or does he want to return to the place he feels so comfortable and captains in Jersey?"
The Hawks obviously see the 27-year-old Devils captain as a special talent who is worth upward of $100 million. He had 31 goals and 69 points last season with the Devils.
Parise would immediately become the highest paid Hawk, surpassing the $6.3 million cap hits for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
Meanwhile, the Hawks lost out on another member of the Devils when goaltender Martin Brodeur decided to re-sign Monday with the only club he has ever played for.
Brodeur, 40, signed a two-year contract worth $9 million. He is the NHL's all-time leader in wins and shutouts.
"At the end of the day, this is what I wanted all along," Brodeur said in a conference call. "Circumstances happen sometimes in life that I can't control, and I can't say it won't happen again, but I am happy, and two years seems appropriate for me maybe to leave the game at that time. But I am not 100 percent sure. Again, we'll see how I feel and how well I am able to play."
Months after Raffi Torres concussed Marian Hossa and 46 days after he appealed the 25-game suspension that followed, the Phoenix Coyotes forward was handed a 21-game sentence on Monday.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman deemed Torres' hit to be worth four less games than disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan after an appeal.
Bettman announced a 21-game ban for Torres, down from Shanahan's original ruling of 25 games on April 21.
"This type of on-ice conduct cannot and will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League," Bettman said in a statement.
Torres already has served 13 games of the suspension during the playoffs. He still has to sit out the coming preseason as well as eight regular-season games, which will cause him to forfeit $170,731.68 in salary.