Zach Parise returned home to Minnesota on Tuesday to further debate and determine his NHL future with his family; and if you needed a reminder that Minneapolis is (a) hockey mad and (b) desperate to have Parise come home to play, look no further than the fact that the media hunted him down at the airport:
From Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, who tracked him down at the airport:
Parise, 27, said he would return to his home his Orono and talk with family, which will likely include his father, former North Stars player and assistant coach J.P. Parise, and his mother, Donna. But in the end, he said, "It's a decision my fiancée and I will make together and that plays a lot into it. We just want to go somewhere that we know we're going to be happy."
Teams interested in Parise are believed to be offering contracts worth $100 million and above. Still, Parise never imagined how "stressful" this decision would be. "There's so much more than the money. That plays a very small factor in it," he said. "My agent's did a great job. You take the time to consider everything. You consider where you want to be for the next however long and however many years of your life. It's a harder decision than I thought it was going to be."
Parise said there's no timetable for his decision. The finalists for his services appear to include the New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings.