By Stefen Rosner and Christian Arnold
The New York Islanders officially revealed the NHL’s worst-kept offseason secret. Zach Parise is finally an Islander.
The news was released Friday ahead of a media call between reporters and Parise. The terms of the deal were not released by the Islanders.
Parise, 37, played in 45 games for the Minnesota Wild last season, with seven goals and 11 assists before being bought out of his 13-year, $98 million contract on July 13. Parise is the son of former Islander J.P. Parise and becomes the second father-son duo to play for the organization.
Zach Parise also is now the sixth 2003 first-round selection to play for the Islanders, joining Thomas Vanek, Braydon Coburn, Robert Nilsson, Steve Bernier and Jeff Tambellini.
The Signing rights a wrong the Islanders made 18 years ago. Then general manager Mike Milbury opted to take Nilsson over Parise in the 2003 draft, which is a decision that has haunted the franchise since then.
It looked as though Parise might have been headed to Long Island at the NHL trade deadline in 2020, but the reported deal fell through. Parise waived his no-movement clause to allow the deal, but the financial parameters became too complicated to complete the trade.
Zach Parise will more than likely be playing in the third-line winger role and see minutes on one of the Islanders’ power-play units.
The Minnesota native spent nine years in his home state before seeing his role limited this past season. Under general manager Bill Guerin, the Wild were looking to become a younger club and parted with Parise and veteran Ryan Suter this offseason. Parise averaged 13:57 minutes per game in 2020-21, his lowest mark since the 2005-06 campaign, his rookie season with the New Jersey Devils.
Zach Parise, who played under Lamoriello as a member of New Jersey, is coming off a tough season. While the expectation is that Parise can be the offensive player he once was in a defensive-minded system is flawed, it does not mean he can’t still be of value to Islanders head coach Barry Trotz. The 14-year veteran is only a year removed from a 25-goal, 46-point campaign.
The Islanders are also adding a disciplined player to the lineup. Parise has recorded under 10 penalty minutes over the last two seasons. But over his career, he has recorded over 40 penalty minutes just once and has not recorded over 30 penalty minutes in each of the last five seasons.
Just once in his 14 years in the NHL, Parise and his clubs have failed to qualify for postseason play. In 105 career playoff games, Parise has 37 goals and 43 assists. He has never won a Stanley Cup, but helped New Jersey to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, before the Los Angeles Kings ended their run in six games.
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