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New York Islanders

Report: Parise Eyeing Return To NHL This Season; Multiple Teams Interested



AP Photo/Matt Slocum

While the New York Islanders have grinded through the early part of the season, one of their former players has reportedly done the same in hopes of returning to hockey later this year.

According to Chris Johnston of The Athletic, Zach Parise has ramped up his training in recent weeks and has multiple teams interested in signing him as he eyes a potential comeback later this year.

Parise, 39, played for the Islanders from 2021-23 and had somewhat of a career renaissance in his two years with the organization before becoming an unrestricted free agent last summer.

When the Islanders opened training camp back in September, team president Lou Lamoriello announced that Parise would not be rejoining the team to start the year while he stayed back home in Minnesota. However, it never felt as if Parise was ever near a decision to retire.

With the NHL season fully underway and teams beginning to show who they truly are, Parise is making a push to return. He must sign before the NHL’s trade deadline on March 8 in order to be eligible for a playoff roster.

Lamoriello is on record saying the door is open for Parise to join the team if and when he chooses to walk through it. Meanwhile, Parise said during his end-of-year media availability back in May that if he did decide to come back for a 19th NHL season, it would be with the Islanders.

However, a lot has changed in the last eight months as the Islanders currently have a log jam of forwards battling for a spot in their lineup.

The young Simon Holmstrom has come into form this season, new addition Julien Gauthier is beginning to look like an excellent depth signing and Hudson Fasching is once again a steady force. Throw in Oliver Wahlstrom and the currently injured Matt Martin, and there may not be enough room at the table for Parise.

Not to mention, Parise is still in pursuit of his first Stanley Cup.

While the Islanders have looked impressive in recent weeks, labeling them as a true championship contender is a hard sell at this moment.

Ultimately, though, it only matters what Parise thinks.

Will Parise stick to his word and rejoin the Islanders, or sign with another team if he believes it has a better chance of helping him capture his first Cup?

Only time will tell, as Parise’s decision now seems inevitable.