Zach Parise said his rehabilitation from a season-ending back injury is progressing well.
Parise, at a charity event Thursday organized by Wild teammate Jared Spurgeon and his wife, Danielle, to raise money for victims of the Alberta fires, said he’s already skating and working out. Parise, the Wild’s leading goal scorer, was unable to play in the postseason because of a herniated disk.
“I’m happy [with] the way it’s going because I’m able to do what I normally would do had nothing happened,” Parise said. “That’s why I’m really optimistic and feeling really good about it.”
Parise opted for rehabilitation rather than surgery and hopes to represent the United States at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto in September.
“When you could avoid getting cut open, that’s always a good thing,” Parise said.
Parise is also looking forward to being coached by Bruce Boudreau. He and teammate Ryan Suter met with Boudreau last week and enjoyed the initial introduction.
“I’m excited about it. I think we all are,” said Parise, who agreed some teams simply need a new voice. “There’s no question for whatever reason there’s a pretty short shelf life for coaches in the NHL. It’s always been like that. But I’m hoping for us that it’s going to be a good thing. He’s had great teams, great records.”
World Cup bound
Erik Haula, who played with a significant hip injury in the playoffs, got cleared to begin working out this week.
The center also joined Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund on Team Finland’s World Cup roster when it was announced at 2 a.m. Friday. “I’ve been nervous all week,” Haula said.
Also, there’s a chance Nino Niederreiter (Switzerland) would join Thomas Vanek (Austria) on Team Europe’s roster. That will be announced at 5:09 p.m. Friday.
After the season, Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher called Spurgeon “the toughest kid I’ve ever seen. He was probably 80 percent most of the year and played 25 minutes per night.”
Spurgeon said Thursday it was an injury to his biceps tendon that caused significant shoulder pain. He has been getting treatment, which includes cortisone injections to potentially avoid surgery. He says the injury has responded well.
“Hopefully it settles down so that nothing further has to go through it. We’re just waiting,” Spurgeon said. “Everyone goes through the battles. We all do.”