Sid Hartman: Parise made tough call to leave Devils

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 9, 2012 - 1:24 AM

His conversations with Ryan Suter helped him decide that coming to Minnesota was the right decision.

hide

New Wild forward Zach Parise said he initially intended to stay in New Jersey.

Photo: Reinhold Matay, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Zach Parise said he definitely planned on re-signing with the New Jersey Devils until Ryan Suter came up with the idea of leaving the Nashville Predators so the two NHL superstars could play together, which led to them both signing with the Wild on Wednesday.

"I really liked playing out [in New Jersey]. We had a good team. I liked my teammates and I like the area that we live in," Parise said Sunday. "I guess as this process went on, as the season went on, I started warming up a little bit to the idea of coming back here to play.

"When July 1st came and we had the opportunity, I got a lot of information from my agents and found out how great of a place [Minnesota] would be to play, and I guess talking with Ryan, we both decided it would be a great fit for both of us.

"I shouldn't say that [originally] I didn't want to come here. I just really liked where I was at. I really liked playing out there. It wasn't that I didn't want to come, it's just where I was I was comfortable and I liked it."

Parise said he and Suter had been texting each other throughout the season to see what the other was thinking.

"Obviously we both were focused, he was with Nashville and I was focused on what we were doing with New Jersey and going to the Cup Finals," Parise said. "After the finals, you find out that you have about two weeks to start making some decisions, but we kept in contact and we thought this would be a good spot."

Changed mind

Parise's father, J.P. Parise, was a Canadian who played with the North Stars for nine seasons. Zach Parise said J.P. considered Minnesota "one of his favorite spots, loved it playing here and wound up living here."

Still, many close to Zach, 27, didn't think there was a chance he would come to Minnesota this soon in his career.

"You know what I would say, I really started seriously thinking about it a little bit before July 1st. Just in talking with Ryan, I would say that's when I really started to take the whole process seriously. Like I said, when you're so overwhelmed and everything with going to the finals, that's the last thing on your mind, is what you're going to be doing after July 1st. But I would say around then, I really started to concentrate on what I wanted to do."

And yes, Devils President Lou Lamoriello said he did his best to keep Parise on his team, but he couldn't change where the Minnesota native was born. "Our offer was competitive and we did not have, at any time, a phone call [indicating] we needed to change it, or it had to go up," Lamoriello told the New York Post.

Added Parise: "It was really hard, that was one of the hardest calls I've ever had to make," Parise said about his decision to leave New Jersey. "[Lamoriello] has been so great to my family and to me. He runs a first-class organization there. That was a very tough phone call for me to make. He was very good about it. He understood. He didn't pressure or anything, he understood where I was coming from."

Parise said one factor in his decision was the organizational outlook for the Wild, with many outstanding young players in the system. His agent even told him that the team's prospects might be the best in the NHL.

"That was a big draw to me," Parise said. "It's a long-term contract and you want to make sure that this team is going to be competitive for a while.

"It really came down to these two places, and as hard as it was to leave New Jersey and everything there, we definitely made the right decision."

And Parise, who started skating at age 2 or 3 at the Met Center, thinks it will be pretty cool that he will be wearing the same No.11 on his uniform that his father wore for the North Stars.

"Both [my dad] and my mom were really exited that we'll be coming back here," he said.

Tense moments

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier reported that there were some tense moments on his recent trip to Afghanistan to visit the troops as part of a USO Tour with other NFL coaches.

"We had to be moved out of some places because of some things that were going on around us," Frazier said. "But our troops and our guide, the people from USO along with the National Football League, did a good job of protecting us and keeping us out of harm's way. There were moments where we were on the edge of some situations. But everything worked out just fine."

Bjugstad undecided

Nick Bjugstad, the Gophers hockey standout selected 19th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL draft, spent time at their development camp last week in Coral Springs, Fla. He said that if he decided to pass up his final two seasons with the Gophers and turn pro, it would be a tough decision.

"There are pro and cons on both sides," said Bjugstad, who would figure to make more than $900,000 as a rookie under an entry-level contract if he made the Panthers roster. "I should probably write them down on a sheet of paper and add everything up."

Said Florida GM Dale Tallon: "It's up to him. If he wants to turn pro and fight for a roster spot, we'll go forward. If he wants to go back to school we will let him do that. We never tell kids to play junior or leave school."

Jottings

• Wade Arnott and Neil Sheehy, the agents for Parise and Suter, respectively, made a killing with each getting some 3 percent of the $98 million that each player will earn over the 13 years of their contracts with the Wild.

• John Williams, only 64 years old and a former great Gophers offensive lineman, died unexpectedly Sunday. His wife, Barbara Butts Williams, is a member of the five-person Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority overseeing the new Vikings stadium.

• The Arizona Republic ran a story this week about former NBA All-Star Norm Nixon's relationship with Michael Beasley, who signed with the Suns for three years at $18 million after the Timberwolves declined to make him a qualifying offer. Beasley started working with Nixon last year at the request of Wolves President David Kahn. Said Nixon of Beasley's signing with the Suns: "Phoenix got a steal, trust me. If the Suns are rebuilding, here's a guy who can play 10 years and be one of the best players in the league. I don't give that compliment out easily."

• Since being released by the Twins and signing with the San Diego Padres in June, former Twins starter Jason Marquis has posted a 3.71 ERA in 43 2/3 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts. In 34 innings with the Twins this year Marquis struck out 12 and posted a 8.47 ERA.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - LP: B. Finnegan 4 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 11
Detroit 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 2 FINAL
San Jose 1
Boston 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
Montreal 3
New Jersey 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Dallas 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 7
Detroit 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Chicago 2 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Minnesota 7
Florida 1 FINAL(OT)
Arizona 2
Washington 3 FINAL
Calgary 1
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
Colorado 37
Akron 21 FINAL
Ball State 35
Massachusetts 35 FINAL
Toledo 42
Ohio U 21 FINAL
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 FINAL
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
Fla Atlantic 16 FINAL
(23) Marshall 35
Louisiana Tech 31 FINAL
Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 27 FINAL
(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
Boston College 23 FINAL
Wake Forest 17
Central Mich 20 FINAL
Buffalo 14
Vanderbilt 14 FINAL
Missouri 24
Old Dominion 51 FINAL
Western Ky 66
UNLV 20 FINAL
Utah State 34
Temple 14 FINAL
UCF 34
(15) Arizona 59 FINAL
Washington St 37
Texas-El Paso 34 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 31 FINAL
Colorado State 45
Syracuse 6 FINAL
(21) Clemson 16
Texas State 22 FINAL
ULM 18
(3) Ole Miss 7 FINAL
(24) LSU 10
(4) Alabama 34 FINAL
Tennessee 20
So Carolina 35 FINAL
(5) Auburn 42
(13) Ohio State 31 FINAL
Penn State 24
(20) USC 21 FINAL
(19) Utah 24
(14) Arizona State 24 FINAL
Washington 10
Nevada 26 FINAL
Hawaii 18
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
New England 1
Portland 2 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Colorado 0 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 24 FINAL
Toronto 26
Brt Columbia 28 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close