10 Best Remaining NHL UFAs for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Zach Parise #11 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

5 – Zach Parise

The Toronto Maple Leafs would love to have the back-to-back Bob Nystrom Award winner, Zach Parise. No need to panic if you’ve never heard of the honour. It’s a New York Islander specific award meant to recognize “an Islanders player that exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication”.

That is the sort of player the Leafs could use in their lineup. The 38-year-old, turning 39 later this month, is an 18-year veteran in the NHL and a former all-star. Though he’s never won it, he has received votes to be the league’s Hart Memorial Trophy winner.

Some may forget, but there was a time when Parise was a household name. In 2008-09, he had a superb season that saw the American score 45 goals and 49 assists for a total of 94 points in 82 games. While he was never able to match that total again, he has continued to be a contributor for his teams.

This past season, Parise played all 82 games for the Islanders, something he also did the year before. In the regular season, he tallied 21 goals and 13 assists. Much like Tatar, Parise didn’t continue his production in the playoffs. Though he was deployed for an average of 14:57 minutes per game, he failed to pick up even a single point in the six games he played.

That shouldn’t deter the Leafs from asking Parise’s representation about his willingness to sign in Toronto. Parise could be had on a very cheap deal and though he didn’t look great in this past post season, that hasn’t always been the case. For his career, Parise has played in 111 NHL playoff games where he has scored 37 goals and 43 helpers for a total of 80 points.