Source: Washington Times
In Adam Oates, the Washington Capitals undoubtedly got a popular players coach. It's hard to find someone who played under him with the New Jersey Devils or Tampa Bay Lightning saying anything negative.
"Honestly I'm happy, I guess, for Washington, but a little bit disappointed because I liked him," Devils forward Dainius Zubrus said. "I liked him a lot. I liked having him here."
So did Zach Parise, the high-scoring left wing considered the top free agent available when the market opens at noon July 1.
"All the guys loved playing for him. As an assistant coach, he taught a lot of us, forwards and even defense, he taught a lot of us a lot of things," Parise said on NHL Home Ice this week. "I think he developed a lot of players."
Oates can't talk about the possibility of bringing Parise with him to the Caps; that would be tampering and the 49-year-old freshly minted coach is too smart to bite on the question. But given Oates' strong connection and his team's need for another top-notch offensive weapon, general manager George McPhee should take a swing at Parise even in light of the cost and risks involved.
"If there's a way to do it and if the Caps were serious about doing something like that, you have a guy that he understands the player, the player understands the coach, where he's coming from," Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May said. "There's not a team in the National Hockey League that doesn't want Zach Parise on their team."
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