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

Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close