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Parise: “Every kid growing up in Minnesota would love to play with the Wild”

Jul 4, 2012, 2:57 PM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

Shortly after announcing the signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Minnesota held a conference call to introduce its new players to the media.

For Parise, the call culminated a stressful period in which only two real suitors emerged — his new team and his old team.

“It came down between New Jersey and Minnesota,” Parise explained. “It was very hard. I loved playing in New Jersey. First class organization and I can’t say enough about Lou.

“I have great friends in New Jersey and I’m a loyal person. I loved playing there. I told Lou that, too.”

That said, Parise is excited about returning to Minnesota and playing for his hometown team — he’ll be wearing No. 11, in case you were curious.

The 27-year-old was born and raised in Minneapolis, played midget hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s (in Faribault) and went to university at nearby North Dakota.

His father, J.P., was a former North Stars player that still lives in the area.

“It was a very big part of it,” Parise said of the prospect of playing at home. “Every kid growing up in Minnesota would love to play with the Wild. That’s the way it is.

“I grew up here and I love coming back here in the summers. I just thought it would be great to be here year round.”

Parise then ended the call to properly embrace summer.

“I’m going right into the lake after this,” he said. “And shutting my phone off.”

  1. stateofhockey11 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Zach, you just assured that a new generation of MN hockey players will want to grow up following in your footsteps to come back home, and make a winner of our team! GO WILD!!!!

  2. sknut - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I think its cool that it was his hometown team or current, I wouldnt have blamed him for going back to NJ but happy he picked the Wild, enjoy the Lake you earned it.

  3. ironcity6pak - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Only people in mn would like to play for the wild. You really think parise and suter will win a cup with wild? Going to be a long frustrating career for the both of them

    • stateofhockey11 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Time will tell, but they have the highly rated group of young kids coming up, and adding these two will make this a destination for future FA’s, at 7.5 per these contracts don’t cripple their cap number. Nobody knows if they will win a cup, but the future is much brighter than it has been in a long time.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      @ironcity6pak

      Awww.. you mad. poor baby

      Happy 4th ;)

  4. pkswally024 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Let it be known that Penguins fans are far worse than Flyers fans. The comments on these posts real of it.

    • stateofhockey11 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      If you read the posts, and twitter, both the pens and wings fans are pretty sore losers in the FA sweepstakes.

    • bobhpine - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      oh they real of it. Definitely real of it.

    • icemanyzfr6 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      From a Flyers fan point of view… While it would be nice to see these guys in orange and black I respect their decision. We’re talking real hockey players (Parise and suter) here, and I would not want to play with malkin or crosby as they are scum bags, cheap shot artists!

      They made the right choice…Flyers need to focus on bringing Bobby Ryan home, and trying to sign/ trade for Shea Weber.

  5. parisepeesonmypenispouch - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    this dumb kid has his head up his ass. way to turn down being in the hall of fame douche. soup can army rapes ur mother and slaps ur dad in the mouth

    • gooterbaby - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      You should look up Pitts all time record vs the Wild…its not really good.

  6. ray2013 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I’m just wondering what happens now with the Red Wings. They lost an all-time HOF defenceman, and Suter was supposed to replace him. Now they have a giant gap in their lineup, and no real defenceman of note is left available through free agency.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      what’s funny to me and this isn’t supposed to be insulting, but it looks like Detroit was never really in the mix

      they were in the final 3 but it sounds like it was MN or Nashville and Detroit was an option if the other two fell off.

      Red Wing fans built all the hype up with nothing factual to go off of other than he will replace Lids.

      • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Have to agree, fletcher. They were either going to stay with their original teams or go to MN, and going to MN won out. I’m not sure how Detroit got involved in the discussion, other than the obvious that they were losing a HOF d-man and needed a top player to fill the gap. Doesn’t mean Suter wanted to select them.

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Sign SEMIN!!!! As a Caps fan I’m telling ya, you won’t be disappointed!! He is an immensely talented player and would tear it up with Datsyuk!!! I’ve been saying it all summer and will continue to- Detroit should’ve been after him not Parise since day 1 of free agency

      • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        They only have five defencemen signed for next season. It’s a need. Semin, afterwards. Would be fun to see Datysuk and Semin play together.

      • bethgoesglobal - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        That is very true- maybe they can make a good trade. They could go after Carle but he can’t fill the skates of Lidstrom (but really, could anyone??)

      • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM

        Maybe a handful in the history of the league. He was a keeper, for sure. Tough loss.

  7. florida76 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Like the North Stars, the Wild have been a losing franchise, so Parise and Suter are putting their futures on the line in the hopes of winning. In fact, the NHL history has been so bad for Minnesota, they have only one player in the HOF who spent the majority of his career in MN.

    It’s fair to question how much of this decision was financial and location as compared to winning a Cup, I think this move could backfire. Those Minnesota fans could turn on Parise and Suter when the team fails, and those players could wish to leave several years down the line.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

      HAHA!

      I love how you are trollin all the MN articles. LOL.

      I see you are having a great 4th of July with your friends (LOL – none) and family…..

      HAHAHAHHAA! Clown

  8. bucrightoff - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    No disrespect Zach, but half of that salary their paying you is for your ability to put asses in seats being the hometown son. No way in hell is his play alone worth $7.5 million, which is almost Malkin/Crosby numbers. That said, the Wild will never regret this deal because it ensures a full building for years to come, which essentially pays for the contract.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      7.5 million is not Malkin / Crosby money so you are wrong there… 8.6 ish

      and more than just the Wild were offering him that contact, heck your GM was offering more money to Parise than the Wild were…

      yes, our owner will make plenty of money off of Parise merchandise in MN but he will make more money if / when the Wild make a long playoff push. That is why he made these offers.

      • bucrightoff - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        Not a Pittsburgh fan, my handle is for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thats why I said $7.5 is ALMOST Crosby/Malkin money, which is obviously almost is. I know I’ve read a few places the Wild saw some attendance declines of late, and while a winner helps, a mediocre team with Parise is almost certainly going to sell out many games.

    • bethgoesglobal - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      They don’t need ZP to put people in the seats. The Wild consistently has one of the highest attendance rates in the NHL. People in MN LOVE Hockey!!! Win, lose, or draw they’ll always come- they are the true definition of Loyal Fans!! Couldn’t be happier for the team, the fans, and the city itself! (I’m just worried about how much ticket prices will go up, but regardless I’ll be there!)

  9. nvandy42 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    You all can hate but everyone knows you’re just butt hurt. We were 1st in the NHL in points mid december last year before injuries happened. NJ made it to the Stanley Cup and everyone says they are a bad team without Parise. Well, you are adding that talent along with a top 5 d man to a team that has shown they can play playoff caliber hockey. Everyone who says that we wont be Cup contenders can suck it from behind. We going to the chip!!! O yea…. Happy 4th of July :)

    • bucrightoff - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      Nice to Minnesota fans have already adopted that Miami Heat fan style arrogance…

  10. bobhpine - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    31 goals, 38 assists…nice player, but kind of smallish for a 13 year deal…Suter is a better player

  11. odj810 - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    are there any other sports websites like this one that don’t have the crosby trolls with 20 different names? I used to like the penguins.

  12. kirschmania - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    lots of sore losers commenting today. suck it douchebags, we win.

  13. hockeystate101 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    ironcity6pak- are you serious? you can’t be serious. You have had two of the best players in the world for five years now and only won one cup?? you are going to rip the wild for paying less for a player that plays harder than both yours? where had malkin been in the playoffs? grow up child

  14. crazemastercraze - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    i’m a devil fan and i love zach. i’m not upset that he chose to play for the wild over other teams (including the devils) but this nonsense about how money didn’t have THAT much to do with his decision to play for this team- i’m calling shenanigans! if money didn’t have “that much to do” with his choice of teams to play for then why didn’t he just sign on the first day of free agency when playing “at home” was SOOOOoooooo important to him?

    also, the rumor that flew around that parise and suter were conspiring to sign together before july 1st, on the same american team on the 4th of July boarders on Lebrons “The Decision” level of drama…. it all just seems too convenient of an outcome for both players.

    just saying, i’m probably completely wrong. at least the wild will be fun to watch….. the character/role players they signed (e.g. Zenon Konopka) make this team look complete!

    • icemanyzfr6 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Flyers offered both the most money, so I believe you are partially right as not everything makes sense. I think it was a combination of money and suter and parise talking about where they could agree to play.

  15. mojosmagic - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Didn’t the North Stars go belly up and had to leave Minnesota?

  16. goldenrodenthockey - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Probably no coincidence his dad, JP wore #11 for the North Stars. Also, the NStars didn’t go belly-up. Do a little research on Norm Green-sexual harassment, for starters. Then a little something regarding some real estate deals. That’s why he was forced to sell the team after he moved them to Dallas…..

  17. phillyphan83 - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    Hahahahahaha where you at GenoPringles and all your other aliases??? You talked all that trash how you’re getting both praise AND suter, now you got NEITHER!!! What happened to the Soup Can Army and how EVERYONE wants to play for “the franchise”??? hahahaha

  18. mcdyer - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    As a Devils fan, i can’t say i’m not completely disappointed in Parise’s decision, but I do respect it. Ever since the first game I saw him play back in 2005, he’s been one of my favorite NHL players. He gave the Devils his all every practice and every game. He was an absolutely phenomenal captain and took them far. If he wants to play with the team he grew up watching and be near his family and old time friend, who are we to criticize. I bet any of you would do the same if given the chance. And if it was about money, there would have been talk between his agent and Lou, and might i remind you Lou said raising the offer never came up, whereas if it was about the money, there would have been talk of it. He plays for the love of the game and you can tell by how hard he pushed himself every time he’s on that ice. The Wild now have an amazing player, and i wish him luck and success throughout his career. He will still continue to be my favorite NHL player.

  19. mcdyer - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    And one more thing that’s driving me crazy is people saying he knew from the beginning he wasn’t coming back to NJ. I believe that is completely untrue. Why do you think it took him so long to decide ? Having to make that decision doesn’t happen overnight, it takes some time. If he knew all along he didn’t want to come back to the Devils, we all would’ve known it and it wouldn’t of taken him that long to decide.

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