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Blackhawks still zeroed in on free agent Zach Parise

A source said Hawks have offer long-term deal worth around $100 millifor Zach Parise. | Getty Images

A source said the Hawks have to offer a long-term deal worth around $100 million for Zach Parise. | Getty Images

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Updated: August 4, 2012 6:32AM

Along with other teams, all the Blackhawks can do is wait for winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, the top free agents available, to choose their destinations.

A day after reports indicated the Hawks weren’t on either star’s short list of teams, the Hawks apparently made one last big pitch to Parise, the Devils’ captain.

Parise, though, told reporters outside his agents’ offices in Mississauga, Ont., that he’s still deciding which team to play for. He declined to name teams other than the Devils.

“The list is still there,” Parise said. “We’re getting closer. That’s all I can say.”

A source close to Parise said he and his agents have “thoroughly deliberated every option” and that he “wishes to take some time to step back and review [it] all with his fiancee and his family,” but the 27-year-old from Minnesota “could be drawing closer to a decision.”

It’s widely thought that the Devils, Penguins, Red Wings and Wild are the leaders for Parise. A league source said the Hawks have to come up with a long-term offer worth around $100 million and with a $12 million signing bonus.

The source also said that, if the Hawks were to sign Parise, a significant move to make room under the salary cap “seems inevitable.”

The Devils’ uncertain financial situation might have led to future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur hitting free agency, but Parise told reporters that Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said that isn’t an issue.

“That’s not weighing into [my decision] right now,” Parise said.

The Hawks’ chances of landing Brodeur, 40, disappeared Monday morning when he re-signed with the Devils, which he wanted to do in the first place.

Brodeur got a two-year deal worth $9 million, and it’s clear the interest he generated from the Hawks, Maple Leafs and others accelerated talks.

In a conference call with reporters, Brodeur declined to list the teams that seriously approached him, but he said that he wanted a two-year deal and that some teams were willing to make that commitment.

“We did entertain some offers, but at the end the Devils were able to come through with the extra year, and that for me was the most important thing in the deal,” Brodeur said.

Whether Brodeur’s decision to stay in New Jersey affects Parise’s remains to be seen.

“It’s such a long-term, important decision,” Parise told reporters. “You have to make sure you look at everything.”

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