Former New Jersey Devils Legend Confirms This Is His Final Season

Zach Parise is considered one of the most contentious former New Jersey Devils players, but he revealed in an interview that this is his final season in the NHL.

New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils - Game Six
New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils - Game Six / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The relationship between New Jersey Devils fans and former star and captain Zach Parise has been one sided since July 4, 2012. That was the day that Parise decided he no longer wanted to be in New Jersey and went home to Minnesota. In some ways, that decision has led the Devils to this era. More than 10 years later, a full, blow-it-up rebuild, and now finally getting back to a contention window later, and there is still pain there when it comes to Parise. Fans take time to forget.

Yet, some fans are growing a soft spot for Parise. Some even hoped he would sign with the Devils over the past few offseasons. Parise never considered a return to the team that drafted him, however, he did sign with the man who drafted him. Lou Lamoriello gave Parise an opportunity after he was bought out of the final four years of his contract with Minnesota. Ironically, Parise would have been under contract for one more season after this one.

Parise spent the last two seasons with the Islanders before surprisingly signing with the Colorado Avalanche this offseason. He told former Devils beat reporter and current NHL.com reporter Tom Gulitti that he returned so he could get one last chance at a Stanley Cup.

""Towards the end of the summer I got that itch once guys started to ramp their training up to get ready for camp. In the back of your mind, you’re thinking, I can still play.”

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Zach Parise tells NHL.com's Tom Gulitti

It's obvious the move by Parise was meant to win him his first Stanley Cup. What wasn't obvious was what was next. He removed all doubt when he told Gulitti this was indeed his last season in the NHL. He's never come as close to the Stanley Cup as he did with that 2012 New Jersey Devils team. Despite a rough start to the series, the Devils took the Los Angeles Kings to six games before a controversial major penalty basically ended their season.

Parise will always have a complicated legacy in New Jersey, but when he eventually makes it to the Hockey Hall of Fame, his time with the Devils will be a fond memory. Most of his career highs came in New Jersey. He had 10 more points in NJ than he did in Minnesota despite playing two fewer seasons. Parise is an NHL legend, and he only has a few games left.

Unless the Devils played the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final, Parise has played his last game in New Jersey. The Devils and Avs don't play again this season. If they do play for a title, expect Parise to be a huge storyline. Either way, this is a legendary career that's on its final leg.

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