Video: Zach Parise Talks About Looming Free Agency Decision
After spending the weekend talking with prospective NHL teams at his agent's office, Zach Parise is back home in Minnesota. KSTP met him at the airport upon his return.
The prize of this summer's NHL free agent pool says he has not yet decided which NHL team he will continue his career with.
Parise says he was planning to return to the Twin Cities - where he has a home - regardless how the talks in Toronto went.
"This is where I live," Parise said. "Either way we were coming back here."
The Wild are widely regarded among the teams Parise is considering - along with Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. He has also not publicly ruled out re-signing with the New Jersey Devils, but the team's financial situation seems to indicate it cannot make an offer comparable to that of the others.
The prospective list may have been narrowed down, but Parise wasn't tipping his hand this morning during a brief conversation in the baggage claim area of MSP.
"We're closer than we were two days ago, closer than we were yesterday," Parise said. "A lot goes into it. I want to talk with my family and... we'll know pretty soon."
He also refuted reports saying a decision is imminent.
"We haven't made a timetable," Parise said. "We don't want to put restrictions on it, because it's a life changing decision. Lot of things factor in, it's why were taking our time. We have to take our time. It's not a decision that can be made at 1:00 on July 1st."
Parise seemed to admit having grown up in Minnesota, along with his home on Minneapolis' westside, and his family in the area still has the hometown Wild in the running.
"Its a decision my fiancée and I will make together, and that plays a lot into it," he said, of his hometown roots. "We want to somewhere that we will be happy."
Parise, a native of the Twin Cities who played prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault and two seasons of college hockey at North Dakota, became a free agent at the conclusion of the NHL season.
All seven of Parise's professional seasons have been with the New Jersey Devils. He captained the team this past season, helping lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals - ultimately losing to the Los Angeles Kings.