A little over 24 hours after becoming the newest member of the Minnesota Wild, Zach Parise joined NHL's Network's nightly show NHL Live to explain how he ended up deciding to play for the Wild.
"I think it was probably around the late evening of the third into the morning of the fourth that we decided it would be the best fit for us and we couldn't be happier," Parise responded.
After free agency officially opened on July 1 at noon, Parise was bombarded with offers from a reported 20 teams, all of which offered him tens of millions of dollars to come to their city.
Despite leading the New Jersey Devils to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Parise decided he wanted to come to Minnesota to be close to his family and friends.
This decision, however, left him with a difficult phone call to make to Devils general manager and president, Lou Lamoriello who drafted Parise with the No. 17 overall selection in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
"Lou, no question," Parise said when asked about the hardest part of the decision. "We had been talking throughout the whole process, Lou and I had. Everyday we were talking and I was giving him updates and keeping in touch. It was a very hard call just because of what that organization had done for me."
In addition to Parise, the Wild also managed to sign the best defensive option on the open market in Ryan Suter, which left many surprised.
However, Parise explained that the two had been discussing the concept for quite some time.
"It was something we had definitely talked about throughout the season, just the idea of getting the chance to play together would be great," he said. "We had talked a little bit through the season [...] as it got closer to July 1 we kept in touch. Luckily the place that we both wanted to play had the room [in their salary cap]."
Now that he has returned home to seemingly finish out his career, Parise will have to deal with all his family members bugging him about getting tickets to games.
"We're gonna be season ticket holders pretty soon so we're gonna have to get some extra ones," he said. "For us to be closer to our family is something we're really looking forward to."
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