The Canes made offers to free-agent forward Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils and defenseman Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators, general manager Jim Rutherford said Sunday as NHL free agency began.
Late Sunday afternoon, Rutherford was informed the Canes likely were out of the running for Parise. A decision on Suter should come Monday, he said.
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 offseason where we're really into trying to get one of these big free agents," Rutherford said. "We're in the mix this year, more like the big-market teams have been in past year. And we hope we can get one."
There were multiple media reports Sunday that Parise was made offers that include a signing bonus of $12 million in the first year. The Canes' offer did not include a large signing bonus.
"He's going to have different types of options, as to what type of team he wants to play on," Rutherford said.
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.
It is believed the Canes have talked with the Columbus Blue Jackets about a trade for All-Star forward Rick Nash, the Jackets captain. If the bid for Parise falls through, the Canes may intensify their bid to obtain Nash.