Zach Parise is the gift that keeps on giving for the NY Islanders and at the end of the 2022-23 season, he'll now be up for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy as voted on by the Professional Writers' Hockey Association.
According to NHL dot com, "The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is an annual award under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and is given 'to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.'" It's safe to say that Parise is the perfect candidate for the Islanders to potentially receive the honor at the season's end.
After signing on with the orange and blue for basically pennies heading into his age-37 season, the expectations for the Minnesota native were relatively low as he was on the back end of his career. However, he followed the signing with an impressive 35-point performance in the 2021-22 season, scoring 15 goals and 20 assists. Admittedly, it took a little bit of time for Parise to get going with his new team with just four assists through his first 22 games, however, once he found the back of the net for the first time as an Islander, it's been nothing but up.
Parise has followed his 35-point performance with another stellar season for his worth. The now 38-year-old has recorded his first 20-goal season since the 2019-20 season and is the oldest Islander in franchise history to record a four-game goal streak that was previously held by Mike Sillinger in the 2005-06 season as a 35-year-old.
With two games left in the 2022-23 regular season, Parise has already tallied 21 goals and 12 assists for 33 points. He's two points shy of tying his point total from last season with the Islanders battling to maintain playoff position with the Pittsburgh Penguins nipping at their heels and the Florida Panthers fighting to stay in the hunt as well.
As the most veteran player on the Islanders, it won't be just his on-ice performance that could potentially help the Islanders finally lock in playoff position. His off-ice, locker-room presence has a lot to do with when the Islanders do and don't succeed. As a former captain and current veteran leader for the Islanders, Parise perfectly embodies the essence of the Bill Masterton award.