The first day of the NHL's free agency period began on Sunday, as eager teams across the league wasted no time sending out offers out to prospective players. And after already extending a contract to New Jersey forward Zach Parise, easily one of the biggest prizes in the 2012 free agent class, the Minnesota Wild appear to have cleared the first hurdle, and are in the running according to a report the Pioneer Press' Ben Goessling.
Minnesota confirmed its interest in Parise via Twitter earlier in the day, and looks to be competing with teams like Detroit, Pittsburgh and New Jersey for the talented winger's services. Parise's agent revealed that his client is on a "small, select list", and that he plans to make his final decision tomorrow.
The 27-year-old forward recorded 31 goals in 2011-12 to mark his fifth career 30+ goal season, in addition to playing a career-high 21:29 minutes of ice time per contest. A Minnesota native who also played two years of college hockey at North Dakota, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is desperately hoping that Parise will opt to return to the great state of Minnesota to further his hockey career.
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