Jul 4, 2012, 2:57 PM EDT
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.”
- Two years after winning the Cup, the Kings’ ‘mix’ comes into question 21
- Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4 13
- MacKinnon, Johnson and Palat named Calder Trophy finalists 10
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 40
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 56
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 48
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 86
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (Game 3) 2
- Bettman says shootouts are staying, gives salary cap estimate 40
- Video: Yeo asked if Cooke told to ‘target’ Avs, does not like question 64
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (127)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)