Wild Make Zach Parise Healthy Scratch
The Minnesota Wild will not have one of the cornerstones of their franchise in the roster Wednesday night. According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, Zach Parise will be made a healthy scratch. This will be the first time Parise has been in good health since signing a 13-year, $ 98 million contract to join the Wild in 2012.
The Wild recalled Gerald Mayhew and Kyle Rau of the taxi team, like Ryan hartman is also expected to miss the game due to injury, but the big news here is Parise. Now 36, the star forward has accumulated 801 points in 1,034 career NHL games, including nine this season in 19 games. Russo connects the scratch at the end of Monday’s game, where Parise was on the ice for over a minute and a half. The Vegas Golden Knights ended up tying the game with Parise on the ice and then winning in overtime.
Parise hasn’t been as effective this season, but has long been one of Minnesota’s most marketable players, racking up points and goals consistently. He will be 37 this summer, and new CEO Bill Guerin will have to make tough decisions. There are still four years left on this contract, and although it includes a full no-move clause, Parise actually abandoned last year to potentially go to the New York Islanders and join Lou Lamoriello, the executive who drafted him with the New Jersey Devils in 2003.
It’s not at all clear if Parise will be dealt at some point this season given how difficult it is to trade a contract like his, but there is an obvious change to come in Minnesota. The team is rejuvenated with a new star at the forefront of Kirill Kaprizov, and the Wild are currently in the playoffs in the West Division. A scratch can be a one-off thing, but a quick glance at Parise’s ice time numbers this season shows a player who is slowly being knocked out. Having averaged at least 17 minutes a night every season since his rookie year, he’s well below that mark now and only played 12:42 in a game against the Los Angeles Kings last week.
Parise and teammate Ryan suter signed identical contracts in the summer of 2012, contracts that would not be permitted under today’s CBA. The 13-year agreements are so loaded that the last three years see only $ 4 million in total salary paid out. Those numbers mean Minnesota would be at the mercy of payback penalties if Parise retires early, which could potentially be out of their hands if traded to another team. That does mean, however, that any team that acquires it wouldn’t spend the $ 7.54 million its cap indicates. After this season, there is only $ 10 million left to pay the veteran forward.