The Colorado Avalanche recently added some forward depth with the signing of longtime NHLer Zach Parise, most recently of the New York Islanders. This is a shrewd move on a team-friendly deal and should pay dividends for the rest of the season for the Burgundy and Blue.
For those that are unfamiliar, Parise is a veteran of 1,224 NHL games with three different teams. He began his career and had some of his best statistical years with the New Jersey Devils, then moved on to the Minnesota Wild for a stretch of time. After Minnesota, he’s played the last two seasons on Long Island with the Islanders.
Parise has got some wear on his tires so to speak, as he’s played 18 seasons in the NHL thus far, but on a one year, $825k contract, he will be able to provide depth for the Avalanche, and that’s what they’re looking for.
Parise is also extremely durable, playing all 82 games for the Islanders of the last two seasons. This isn’t an easy feat as the Metropolitan division is known for its toughness, and Lou Lamoriello, the Islanders general manager, demands a sort of toughness from his players that most other GMs don’t.
On top of both of those positives, Parise is still productive offensively, scoring 36 goals over the last two seasons. He’s also an influential voice in the locker room, having worn the Captaincy in the past. On top of that, Parise’s been in the playoffs 13 times in his NHL career. That’s where the Avalanche expect to be. He’ll help them there also.
This is a win-win situation for Colorado. Parise will add scoring depth, likely on the third line playing with Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Cogliano. The one-two punch of depth scoring combined with the heady two-way play of Cogliano should give Coach Jared Bednar a trusted line to put on the ice late in the game if need be.
More moves will likely be on the way as the trade deadline creeps up even closer, but signing a savvy veteran like Zach Parise is an excellent beginning to the Avalanche’s run toward the playoffs.