Parise leaves Devils, signs 13-year deal with Minnesota
by Jesse Connolly/Staff Writer
With news of his departure now official, Zach Parise has likely soured many a July 4th cookout party in the New Jersey area.
The captain and cornerstone of the franchise has left the Devils to return to his home state of Minnesota, signing a 13-year deal reportedly worth $98 million with the Minnesota Wild.
Ryan Suter, the other marquee free agent who was reported to have been waiting on Parise’s decision before signing his own contract, has also agreed to a deal with the Wild for 13 years. The former Predators d-man’s salary has yet to be released, but expects to be in the same ballpark as Parise’s.
Parise, 27, has spent all seven seasons of his NHL career with the Devils since being drafted 17th overall back in 2003. In 502 games, he has 410 points.
In 2011-12, the 5-foot-11 winger helped the Devils advance to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals during an unexpectedly deep playoff run by the club. Parise had eight goals and seven assists in 24 postseason tilts.
A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Parise won a silver medal back in 2010 as a member of Team USA. He scored the tying goal late in the gold-medal game against Canada to force overtime.
The loss of Parise is a crushing blow to a Devils’ squad that hoped to make another run at the Cup in 2013. New Jersey reportedly made a hard push to retain the high-scoring forward – which included multiple phone calls from recently re-signed netminder and future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur – but the chance to go home and play for the Wild was apparently too good of an offer to pass up.
Parise, Suter and the new-look Wild will make their first trip to Prudential Center on Sunday, Nov. 11.