The Zach Parise Appreciation Thread--Let's thank him
I rarely post, but obviously I believe this is something that needs to be said. I don't understand all of this hate for Zach. We should be thanking him and wishing him well. Zach has always handled himself with class both on and off the ice. We loved him not just for his on-ice production, but also for his leadership and tireless work ethic. He always gave everything he had. It's those qualities that make him great and made him a fan favorite, and it's those qualities that earned him his $98 million payday.
Let's remember...according to Zach and Lou...the Wild were the only team he would've left us for...we were in it till the end...but ultimately the pull of playing close to home with one of his oldest friends was too much to pass up.
Remember, he's getting married in a few days. He's settling down and starting a family. When he has kids, one would think he'd like to live near his parents and his in-laws so his kids could be close to their grandparents. There's not many hockey players who get a chance to lock up the next 13 years of their life where they grew up and where their extended family live...it's tough to compete with that. Zach has always stayed close to Minnesota...he's gone back home for every offseason. He even just finished building a house there. So this shouldn't surprise us.
I believe Zach when he says he's "loyal." Neidermayer never was and never showed us a whole lot of loyalty when he left. We offered him more money than Anaheim but Scott was set on leaving as soon as he could. He had had bitter negotiations with Lou (he once held out) and never got the kind of freedom on the ice he would have enjoyed elsewhere...and of course he hated playing against his brother and living across the continent from his family. I always felt like Brian Rafalski was loyal even though he left...but he chose to play close to home for the some of the same reasons. I think this is more similar to that. And please don't let us compare this to Gomez. Like Neidermayer, he was gone as soon as July 1st came, and he ultimately left for the money. I will never forget him trying to explain why he signed with our biggest rival. "I love living in NY" or something to that effect...as if he couldn't have stayed and lived in NYC. When Zach was asked about going to the Rangers, he said "No" and apparently he meant it...because if he hadn't I believe the Rangers would have been bidding for him with everyone else. If he was staying on the East Coast it would have been to play for us.
Lou is the one who should be blamed here...and maybe Jeff Vanderbeek as well. As TG tweeted, losing Zach began when we signed Kovalchuk...at the time, we were close enough to the cap that we couldn't afford to lock up Zach and sign Kovalchuk in the same offseason. Of course the fact that the summer of Kovalchuk dragged on for as long as it did didn't help matters either. But it became clear that the team's priority was signing Ilya to a long term deal and not Zach. If Lou had offered him a long term deal two years ago he likely would still be a Devil. Maybe Kovie wouldn't, but I'm not sure we were ever going to be able to have both on this team over the long haul anyway.
I truly don't feel abandoned by Zach...if this were an easy decision for him, he would have made it on 7/1 or the morning of 7/2, but it wasn't. It took him a long time to be able to say "goodbye" to us. We just have to say "thank you" back. And come 11/11, I plan on doing just that.
He will not be remembered here. This thread was unnecessary. If you like him that's your right, but his second choice was to go wherever he, and Suter's second choice was. Don't believe him.
Also Neider left for less money is right. This is why I wasn't as angry at his decision, and did not find it hard to understand. Lou never offered Rafalski a contract in 07, and Detroit did. Different situations. Stop blaming Kovy as if this team would be any better with just Parise, and no Kovy than it would Kovy, and no Parise.
Kovy signed his life away to stay here, and for a far better deal than Zach did.
Now is definitely the time for this thread...I am as depressed and angry as everyone else...but he didn't spurn us...he left us for valid reasons. This isn't Gomez. This isn't Holik. This isn't even Neidermayer. He left for another conference to play close to home. There is too much hate being flung his way right now...and he doesn't deserve any of it.
To the OP: Well, that's just like your opinion, man.
I need a few more days...
EDIT: Actually, no, I take that back. My buddy and I are already planning on buying tickets to the game against the Wild in Newark this year. My friend is taping "SELLOUT" on his Christmas tree Parise jersey and holding it up to the glass during the pre-game skate in the Wild's end of the ice.
We're also hoping Volchie rings his bell. (Cleanly and legally, of course.)