Zach Parise makes first return to New Jersey since leaving for Wild

Zach Parise
The Devils have struggled to replace Zach Parise since he left for Minnesota in 2012.
Credit: Getty Images

Zach Parise did not expect the Devils to honor him, but as the one-time franchise cornerstone explained Thursday morning, it’s not personal. It’s just the Devils’ way.

“I’m not expecting anything,” Parise told reporters at the Prudential Center following the Wild’s morning skate prior to Thursday night’s game against the Devils. “That’s just not the way they do things, so I’m not expecting anything.”

The game Thursday night was Parise’s first against the Devils since leaving the franchise in 2012. Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million on July 4, 2012, to play for his hometown Minnesota Wild.

Parise agreed to the deal weeks after captaining the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final against the Kings. The Devils lost the series in six games, but Parise called the run his “best memory, hockey-wise,” of a tenure with the Devils that saw the left wing record 410 points in 502 games.

In 102 games spanning a season and a half with the Wild, Parise has 83 points (41 goals and 42 assists).

“Anytime you’re on a team like that and you go to the [Final], it’s special,” Parise said. “You remember things like that. It’s my last memory so it’s the freshest. That was the most fun.”

The run to the Cup Final — the Devils entered the playoffs as the sixth seed and eliminated the Panthers (seven games), Flyers (five games) and Rangers (six games) before losing to Los Angeles — was the culmination of a season in which Parise’s free-agent status was a near-daily topic of discussion.

Parise has said his decision to sign with the Wild — who also signed longtime friend Ryan Suter to a 13-year, $98 million deal on July 4, 2012 — wasn’t about cashing in. It is believed that Parise passed on deals with the Flyers and Penguins, and he reiterated yesterday his choice boiled down to the Devils and Wild.

In the end, the lure of plying his trade in front of family and friends was the final determining factor for a player whose departure — and those of Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson the next season — have left a gaping void the Devils have yet to fill.

“You never want to see one of your own players go somewhere else,” Parise said, when asked how he anticipated the fan reaction to him. “I understand that.”

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…