For just the second time in his career and the first time as a member of the Minnesota Wild, Zach Parise will be a healthy scratch. After choosing not to come off the ice for a line change, Parise played a 1:33 shift leading up to the game tying goal for Vegas. The Wild would go on to lose the game in OT. After one of their most complete games of the year, it was a brutal way to lose. Vegas is the division leader and a blossoming rival. You can’t give a team that good any opportunities to come back, because they absolutely will. It will surprise no one to learn that The Athletic’s Michael Russo broke the story first.
Dean Evason has BIG BallsMost head coaches wouldn’t even think to bench a player like Parise. $98,000,000 is a lot of money to have in the press box. Fortunately for the Wild,
I’m sure the healthy scratch designation won’t be frequent for Parise. I’m hoping it can light a fire under the hometown hero. We’ve still got a long, long time to ride out the rest of his contract, so it’s in everyone’s best interest for the situation to improve. Before the news was officially broken to the public, Parise was the first person on the ice today. He didn’t look happy, to say the least.
The Wild will be playing tonight’s game in the North Star inspired Reverse Retro jerseys. That means Parise will have one fewer game he gets to play in the Green&Gold of old. Growing up the son of North Stars great JP Parise, losing out on that opportunity is something that probably bothers Zach Parise a lot. I don’t want to speak for Parise, but he certainly looked angry in the video Russo posted.
So… What Next for Parise?I feel for Zach. He was trying to get Marcus Foligno his first career hat trick and just made a mistake. Parise is a good dude and a great ambassador for the game. He cares a lot about this organization. The always incredible Jessi Pierce of the Bardown Beauties (among many other things!) posted the full quote of Parise explaining himself, after the first snippet of the quote caused a Wild TwitterTM shitstorm. Wild TwitterTM of course should not be confused with one of 10k’s best friends, The Wild Twitter account.
That all being said, I also absolutely love the fact that Evason is not afraid to bench anyone if they’re not pulling their weight. It’s no secret Parise is having a down year so far, and his reckless play sent a winnable game into OT which ultimately lead to a loss.I have nothing but respect for a coach who isn’t afraid to send a message to the team by scratching a star player when he needs to get going. Parise is welcome to disagree with it, but hopefully, this lights a fire under his ass and jumpstarts his season. The rest of the room sees that too and knows that if Zach Parise can get benched, anyone can. They can’t fuck around.
The Wild called up both Gerry Mayhew and Producer Andy’s favorite human to ever exist Kyle Rau. I anticipate whichever of them plays worse will be back out of the lineup for Zach’s return against the Coyotes on Friday. The other will be back on the Taxi Squad after Hartman gets healthy, which is hopefully sooner than later.
In the meantime, the Wild have a grudge match tonight in Sin City. The Reverse Retros have never lost, so let’s keep the magic alive. Let’s Go Wild!
Minnesota sports weren’t stressful enough, so I went to Auburn. Diehard everything fan. Will drink beer for money. Deathly allergic to chicken.