AVALANCHE

Avalanche officially announce signing of former All-Star forward

Jan 26, 2024, 12:00 PM | Updated: 5:54 pm

The Colorado Avalanche have officially signed former All-Star forward Zach Parise, the team announced on Friday night.

Reports of Parise joining the club had been brewing for 24 hours, and now it’s official.

*** What follows is the original Denver Sports story from Friday morning***

Ten years ago Zach Parise captained the last NHL roster for Team USA to the medal round of the Sochi Olympics. A decade later, Parise could be a key late addition to the Colorado Avalanche.

According to Minnesota Wild insider Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Avs are linked to the free-agent forward.

“Zach Parise is close to signing, by the way,” Russo said on the Talk North podcast. “I think it’s going to happen in the next couple of days. My guess is that he’ll skate with them through the end of the All-Star break, then he’ll be ready to debut. I think Colorado is the team he’s going to, by the way.”

Parise was the 17th pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, and would be the sixth player from his class to still be playing in the NHL 21 years later. The now 39-year-old winger has played in 1,224 games, appeared in an All-Star Game, scored 429 goals and tallied 450 assists. After his seventh season with the Devils in 2011-12 where he became one of the more prolific forwards in the sport and led the team to the Stanley Cup Final, Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Wild. He remained a productive player for most of his nine seasons in his home state of Minnesota but was eventually bought out by the Wild. The last two seasons Parise played for the Islanders, scoring 69 points—21 of which were goals last season.

Thanks to his old mega contract which still has the Wild on the hook for $7 million cap hits the next two seasons, the Avs could get Parise on the cheap. And given his career resume and 111 playoff games played with 80 points scored, he could add some real punch to the team.

Parise has had some giant moments in his career. He led the Americans to their first World Junior title in 2003, tallied key points for the Devils late in the playoffs and scored the game-tying goal for the Americans with 24 seconds left in the Gold Medal Game of the 2010 Olympics. Parise though, hasn’t had that crowning moment in over 20 years, falling short to the Kings while playing for the Devils and losing to Team Canada both as an alternate captain in the 2010 Olympics and then again as the captain to Canada in the 2014 Olympics semifinals.

The Avs are in search of forward depth not only to replace Gabriel Landeskog, but to supplement Valeri Nichushkin’s absence and Artturi Lehkonen, who just returned after missing over two months. Nathan MacKinnon is having his finest season yet, and the Avs will obviously make moves before the trade deadline, signing Parise gives them some cache and keeps the team’s options open.

The only team with more points than the Avs, Boston, was also mentioned as a Parise landing spot by Russo.

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