A couple of days after the New York Islanders were eliminated from the postseason by the Carolina Hurricanes in six games, Zach Parise was asked about his future. While he hadn't made a decision, he stated that it would likely be "here or nowhere" if he returned for a 19th NHL season.
However, nine months and over half a NHL regular season later, that doesn't seem it is going to be the case for the two-time winner of the Bobby Nystrom Award.
Long Island’s own Michael Russo, The Athletic beat writer for the Minnesota Wild, said on his Worst Seats in the House podcast that he believes that Zach Parise is potentially signing with the Colorado Avalanche and that the Islanders are out.
"Zach Parise is close to signing, by the way. It's close to happening, said Russo. "I think it's going to happen in the next couple of days...I think Colorado is the team he's going to, by the way. I think Boston has had interest, but I think the Islanders are out. That's just my gut right now."
Russo covered Parise throughout his career with the Wild, and had a good relationship with him. Maybe the information is coming from Parise's camp, maybe not, but there's an obvious reason why going to team like the Avalanche or Bruins would be of more interest than the Islanders.
Parise, undoubtedly, has a tremendous amount of respect and loyalty toward Isles' GM Lou Lamoriello and is grateful to the Islanders organization for reenergizing his career after being bought out by the Wild, but there were always going to be offers from teams that are more likely Stanley Cup contenders than the Islanders.
"It wouldn't surprise me now jumping in the middle of the season he provides a spark wherever he ends up," added co-host Anthony LaPanta. Parise played in all 82 games in both of his seasons on Long Island and scored 21 goals last year, including 15 at even-strength.
If this is really Parise’s one last chance at an elusive championship, can you blame him for joining a team that is guaranteed to be a top-seed and Cup favorite? As exciting as things are for the Islanders, jumping into a situation with a team adapting to a new system and not in a playoff position isn't the most appealing for a player who has perhaps one last Stanley Cup run in him.