The Canes have made offers for both free-agent forward Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils and defenseman Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators, general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Sunday.
Rutherford did not reveal any details of the offers. Parise, the Devils captain and the top forward available in free agency, was in Toronto on Sunday huddling with his agents and considering offers.
"It's kind of exciting for us because this is an offeseason where we're really into trying to get one of these big free agents," Rutherford said. "And we hope we can get one."
There were multiple media reports Sunday that Parise has been made offers that include a signing bonus of $12 million in the first year. It is not believed the Canes' offer includes a large signing bonus.
Rutherford said Parise was at the top of the Canes' wish-list at forward. He said he would be willing to go to Toronto to talk with Parise along with coach Kirk Muller and possibly team captain Eric Staal.
Canes assistant coach John MacLean was a longtime assistant and later head coach of the Devils and knows Parise well. He was trying to reach Parise on Sunday.
"We asked did we need to get to Toronto today, right away and the answer was 'no," but we have offered that," Rutherford said.
And if the Canes don't get Parise?
"If we don't get Parise, we're right back in the trade market, immediately," Rutherford said.