When the New York Islanders signed Zach Parise, I was excited. Not because I thought he was going to be the 30-year-old version of himself because I thought that he would provide solid scoring depth on the third line.
Well, he's done that perfectly. Through 57 games, he has 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists). Paced out over a full season that's 35 points and 12 goals. For the veterans minimum that's perfect for the New York Islanders.
He is always involved in the play, he still skates hard, he can play on either special team unit, he's a versatile piece and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. In fact, he might actually be returning next year.
Zach Parise likes it so much he said that he would like to return. Lou Lamoriello is a classy guy, even his biggest critics could admit that. He's not going to blindside Parise, he'll be open and honest about his intentions and if that's the case, I would totally love to see him come back to the Islanders.
He's averaged 14:46 per night for the Isles this year, which is essentially your prototypical third line minutes and he would be perfect with JG Pageau again on line three. Heck, Oliver Wahlstrom should (keyword being should) be ready for a top-six role next season there's no reason why a Parise - Pageau - Bailey third line couldn't do wonders for this team.
I know Josh Bailey hasn't been everyone's favorite guy this year but with him scoring a little bit again and putting up some points, Bails in a diminished third line role is more than fine if they improve up top with their cap space.
The moral of the story here is that the feeling is mutual. Parise wants to come back, and I sure as hell would like to see Parise back on another one-year deal.