Zach Parise, Bruins: Based on how the Bruins have operated, this, too, may be nothing more than a fantasy. Parise will be 28 next month and looks like the best free-agent forward on the market this summer. Excluding a 2010-11 season in which he played just 13 games before suffering a knee injury, Parise has scored 31, 32, 45, 38 and 31 goals in his last five full seasons. He plays on the power-play and penalty-killing units. He has high character. Everything about him screams captain, the role he currently he fills for the Devils.
During the first round of the NHL playoffs, we once again learned that the Bruins stand to make the greatest gains at wing. In the last two postseasons, left wing Milan Lucic has scored five goals in 32 games, including zero in this year's seven-game series vs. the Washington Capitals. (He can't keep up.) Lucic is eligible for free agency at the end of next season, anyway, and he doesn't warrant an increase from the $4.25 salary he is already earning.
The Bruins, after all, have plenty of brawn. They need more polish. If they can get Nathan Horton back and upgrade with someone like Parise, the possibilities are again endless.