Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Zach Parise

Zach Parise
195 lbs
Shoots: Left
Born: July 28, 1984
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota

No free agent was more coveted in the NHL this summer than Zach Parise. And for the first time in...well...ever, a top free agent chose to sign in Minnesota. The Wild signed Parise to a 13 year contract worth $98 million on July 4th, giving him one of the longest and highest paying contracts in the NHL (Ryan Suter got the exact same deal).

In his 7 seasons in the NHL, Parise has been an offensive force, scoring at least 30 goals in 5 of those 7 seasons (He only played 13 games in 2010-11 due to a torn meniscus in his right knee). In 08-09, he set career highs in most major offensive categories when he put up a line of 45-49-94 and registered a +/- rating of +30. Parise is coming off a 31 goal, 38 assist season, helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Finals (Parise scored 8 goals and 7 assists in the Devils' run to the finals).

But there is much more to Zach Parise than his offensive skills. He is a very skilled defensive forward, making one of the better two way players in the game. He was an anchor on the Devils PK, leading them to the #1 PK ranking (89.6%) this past season. He set a career high with 3 shorthanded goals last year, making him all the more dangerous when his team is on the PK.

Additionally, Parise is a proven team leader. In 09-10, he was named alternate captain of the Devils, before being named their captain in 2011-12. Now that Parise is on the Wild he will serve as one of the team's alternate captain to Mikko Koivu (Please, don't think for a second Parise will be captain while Mikko still wears the Wild sweater. This is Mikko's team.).

Parise is a fierce competitor and plays the game very hard. Adding his skills to his desire to win every night makes him one of the game's best players.

He came within 2 wins of the Stanley Cup this past summer. He could of easily stayed in New Jersey so he could of given it another try to win it all with the only team he has ever played for. But he chose an alternate route. He believed the Wild had a greater future and gives him a better shot to win the Stanley Cup at some point than the Devils do. And that's ultimately why Zach Parise chose to sign with the Wild.

Welcome to the Team of 18,001 Zach Parise!

This was the fifth post in a five post series on the Wild's free agent signings. We have previously looked at Jake Dowell, Zenon Konopka, Torrey Mitchell, and Ryan Suter

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