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Parise: Sunday’s game versus Devils ‘will be really weird’

Nov 2, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

When Zach Parise originally inked a 13-year, $98 million, he didn’t think he would have to wait too long to face the team that drafted him, the New Jersey Devils. However, the lockout eliminated what would have been his first match against them and once play finally did resume, Western teams were kept from playing against the Eastern Conference.

Instead, he’ll face New Jersey roughly 16 months after he left them when the Minnesota Wild host them on Sunday.

The added buffer time will make things easier on Parise. When he left them, it was shortly after the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Final. It would have been against a team that looked very familiar to him and while the emotions of the 2011-12 campaign were fresher in everyone’s minds.

Instead, this he’ll be taking on a Devils team that’s faced tremendous hardships since his departure. They lost Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson after New Jersey failed to make the playoffs last season. Although they’ve been turning things around lately, they certainly haven’t looked like a serious playoff contender this season either.

That doesn’t mean this game won’t mean anything to Parise though.

“It will be really weird, I think,” he told the Star-Ledger. “You play with those guys for so long. I’m still good friends with a lot of the guys and I keep in touch with a lot of them. It will be weird facing off against them for the first time.”

Sunday’s match is the 7-4-3 Wild’s next contest, but the New Jersey Devils have to play the Philadelphia Flyers tonight before heading to Minnesota.

  1. jessejames182 - Nov 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    You mean before Parise signed the type of deal that started the lock out?

    • lordfletcher - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Ovechkins was 13 years / 124 million

      Weber / Richards / Myers / Kovalchuk and more have top contracts as well, but yes… lets blame Parise and Suter.

      • nj666 - Nov 2, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        well it was the wild’s owner who was very vocal during last years lockout…

  2. allday420ap - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Zachs getting ready to show these devils why he chose the state of hockey.

    • allday420ap - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      *great state of hockey

    • nj666 - Nov 2, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      didn’t they lose a hockey team once already?

      • guitarhunterdude - Nov 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        We didn’t lose it, it was taken from us. NORM STILL SUCKS!

      • lordfletcher - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:03 AM

        for those who don’t know about Norm Green…. his wife told him to sell / relocate the team or they were getting a divorce. Guessing the divorce cost too much, so …. Dallas. Norm had multiple law suits as he couldn’t keep his hands and tongue off his female employees. yada yada yada, a very sad state.

        I love the Wild but would give up anything to have our North Stars back. :'(

  3. rushledger - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I hope they boo him hardcore.

    • allday420ap - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Your hoping minnesota fans boo the devils?

    • 950003cups - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      You are aware that the game is in Minnesota, right? With that being said, if Parise pulls the same performance in the playoffs as last year, they may start to boo him.

      • lordfletcher - Nov 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        still hung up on that eh?

        waiting for new material. ***sigh***

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