Zach Parise agreed to terms on a contract with the New York Islanders on Friday. No details of the contract were disclosed.
The 37-year-old forward had the final four seasons of his 13-year, $98 million contract ($7.54 million average annual value) bought out by the Minnesota Wild on July 13. The Minneapolis native joins the Islanders after they made the Eastern Conference Final and Stanley Cup Semifinals in each of the past two seasons.
“I love the team, a lot of Minnesotans,” Parise said Aug. 16 during Da Beauty League, a 4-on-4 summer league for NHL players with ties to Minnesota. “I know a handful of guys on the team already. Just from watching the [Stanley Cup Playoffs] the last couple of years, the way they compete, the way they play a great style of hockey. And obviously I’m familiar with the general manager [Lou Lamoriello], so I’m familiar with the style of play that he likes.”
Parise said June 3 that he planned on attending Wild training camp before his and defenseman Ryan Suter‘s contracts were bought out. He was a healthy scratch in three of Minnesota’s final four regular-season games and first three playoff games, then scored three points (two goals, one assist) in four games after forward Marcus Johansson broke his arm in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup First Round, a seven-game loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
“It kind of felt like the writing was on the wall,” Parise said. “Just the way I was being used, it just felt like something was going to happen. But still, when it does, you’re kind of shocked. We had just moved into a new house two days before, so kiss of death. But honestly, after those couple of days it’s been great. It’s been really good.”
Parise scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 45 games last season and 400 points (199 goals, 201 assists) in 558 regular-season games for the Wild. He ranks third all-time for Minnesota in goals and points, seventh in games played and eighth in assists, and is the Wild’s postseason leader with 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) in 44 games.
Forwards Anders Lee (Edina), Brock Nelson (Warroad) and Kieffer Bellows (Edina) are Minnesota natives who play for the Islanders.
“He’d be a good fit for us, whatever he chooses,” Nelson said Aug. 9 at Da Beauty League. “I think he’d add some depth for us, he’d help with the power play, 5-on-5 and some offense. It’s nice to get another Minnesota guy, it seems like we always have three or four guys from Minnesota or some ties.”
The Islanders (32-17-7) were fourth in the MassMutual East Division and lost the semifinals in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Free agent forwards Kyle Palmieri (unrestricted), Anthony Beauvillier (restricted) and Casey Cizikas (unrestricted), and goalie Ilya Sorokin (restricted) each signed a multiyear contract to remain with New York on Sept. 1.
Defenseman Adam Pelech agreed to an eight-year contract Aug. 6. Forward Richard Panik and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft were acquired in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings for defenseman Nick Leddy on July 16. Forward Jordan Eberle was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
Parise was a first-round pick (No. 17) in the 2003 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, when Lamoriello was GM, and helped New Jersey reach the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, a six-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
He has scored 810 points (393 goals, 417 assists) in 1,060 regular-season games during 16 seasons with the Devils and Wild, and 80 points (37 goals, 43 assists) in 105 playoff games.
“I’m looking forward to the change, a fresh start,” Parise said. “I have a great mindset right now. I haven’t been this excited heading into a new season in a while. It’s good. I had been here for a long time and sometimes a change of scenery is good.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report