By Christian Arnold and Stefen Rosner
The marriage between Zach Parise and the New York Islanders is all but set.
NYI Hockey Now has been able to confirm that Parise will sign with the Islanders once NHL free agency opens Wednesday at noon. TSN’s Bob McKenzie was first to report the news earlier in the day.
It has all but seemed like a foregone conclusion that Parise would be a New York Islander next season since he was bought out by Minnesota earlier this month from his 13-year, $98 million deal he signed in 2012. Parise began to be linked to the Islanders almost immediately after that.
Zach Parise reportedly visited Long Island recently and a separate league executive told NYI Hockey Now’s, Andy Graziano, that he “would fall off my chair if he ends up anywhere else.” Parise is the son of former Islander JP Parise, who played for New York from 1974 to 1978.
Parise’s final year in Minnesota had been a down one after seeing his role and ice time diminish as the season went on. He appeared in 45 games this past year and only had seven goals and 18 points.
He was also a healthy scratch for Minnesota as well.
“I had my expectations heading into last season and where I fit in on the team,” Parise told the Pioneer Press. “Then it shakes out the way it did. I never questioned whether I was good enough to play in the NHL. Just unfortunate the way it ended up working out during the season. It wasn’t fun, I’ll say that much.”
Coming to Long Island could mean a revival of his play. He would surely see an increased role on the Islanders, getting a chance to play on the Islanders struggling power play and be paired with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom on the third line.
Zach Parise has scored 25 or more goals in his two seasons prior to this past one, so his scoring touch is still there.