Zach Parise was surprised.

When Wild General Manager Bill Guerin contacted Parise on Tuesday morning, Parise's mind went to the approaching deadline for teams to ask players like him to waive no-movement clauses in their contracts before the upcoming expansion draft.

But that wasn't why Guerin was calling.

And once Parise heard the reason, his first reaction was sadness.

"Unfortunately, it's ending this way," Parise said. "It leaves a little bit of a sour taste."

The Wild dismissed Parise and Ryan Suter on Tuesday, buying out the remainder of their contracts in a decision that rocked the hockey world.

Both players had become faces of the franchise after signing matching 13-year, $98 million contracts in 2012, acquisitions that thrilled owner Craig Leipold and immediately raised the profile of the organization on and off the ice after years of stagnancy. Parise and Suter had four more seasons to go before the partnership was cut short, the message relayed during Guerin's phone call.

"He'd said he was with Craig," Parise recalled Wednesday in a telephone interview with the Star Tribune. "When I heard that, I figured it was not going to be great news. He had explained to me what was going to be happening, what was going on. I said, 'All right,' and that was it."

Aside from feeling sad and surprised, a sense of closure also dawned on Parise.

"I hadn't spoken to anyone since our end-of-the-year meetings, which were really brief," he said. "But I did feel like the writing was on the wall."

Since his arrival, Parise had been spearheading the team's offense. But last season the veteran winger was downgraded to a lesser role: his minutes shrunk, he played mostly on the fourth line, and he was even a healthy scratch – including for the first three games of the playoffs, not subbing in until Marcus Johansson was injured.

"Tough to put into words," Parise said. "I think difficult would be an understatement. You have your expectations and your thoughts about the way seasons are going to go when it doesn't shake out that way and frankly goes the complete opposite. From a personal standpoint, it just wasn't great. I don't know how else to put it.

"It didn't work out the way I was hoping."

Overall, Parise finished the regular season with just seven goals in 45 games – his lowest output since he had three in 13 games in 2010-11 with New Jersey. His average ice time was three minutes shorter than what he logged the previous season and almost five minutes shy of 2018-19's standard.

"I didn't see it coming," Parise said. "But as the season progressed, in your mind you're like, 'OK, they have different plans,' which is OK. That's their prerogative, but it's hard when it does happen.

"But that's just the way it shook out, and I was kind of at a loss for a little while."

Parise said he didn't see his situation changing in the future, but he believes he's still effective.

He had two goals and an assist in four playoff games and exits the Wild as its all-time leader in playoff goals (16) and points (37). His 199 goals and 400 points in 558 regular-season games rank third in team history, while his 69 power play goals are tops.

"I know that I'm a good player," said Parise, who turns 37 later this month. "As mentally challenging as it was during the season, as much as you start to question a lot of things with what transpired during the year, I know I'm a good player.

"I'm not sitting here at home questioning my skills or my ability to play in the NHL at all."

Other emotions in this transition have been the excitement and eagerness to get a fresh start, with Parise set to become a free agent.

"There's that kind of rejuvenation of looking forward to something different," he said.

Suter has the same opportunity; although he and Parise joined the team at the same time, Parise was shocked that the defenseman was leaving alongside him.

"Ryan's a great hockey player," Parise said. "He's going to find himself somewhere again in a top-four role on some team and do really well."

Together, they helped the Wild become a playoff team in eight of nine seasons. Years 2 and 3 were the most memorable for Parise.

"Unfortunately ran into a dynasty in the Chicago Blackhawks for those couple of seasons when I thought we had our best teams here," Parise said.

But this stint with the Wild will also be about family for Parise, who grew up in Bloomington.

Not only did he get married the summer he signed with the Wild and go on to have three children, but Parise also got to spend time with his dad and former North Star J.P. Parise before he passed away in 2015.

"I would never say I regret coming here," Parise said.

Here is home.

"It wasn't the ending I had anticipated and it's sad that it is ending this way," Parise said. "But I enjoyed playing here."