Wild trainer Dean Evason has spoken the conversation as he preached accountability. He showed on Wednesday that he is ready to go the way.
After the veteran winger Zach Parise overwhelmed a shift against overtime against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night, he is a healthy scratch for the first time in his Wild career. He sits in the Wilds rematch with the Golden Knights in Vegas on Wednesday night.
This is clearly a message sent to Parise, 36, after he decided not to get off the ice during Monday’s game in Las Vegas because of an obvious change of line. Not long after overwhelming his shift, the Golden Knights scored the winning goal when Mark Stone found Max Pacioretty on the doorstep.
« It was disappointing and I disagree with the decision, » Parise said when he was scratched. « In my heart I felt I was doing the right thing. »
When asked why he overwhelmed the shift, Parise said it was the first time in his career that he tried to give his teammate Marcus Foligno a hat trick. They discussed it on the bench when the Golden Knights dragged goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury late in the game.
I said to him, ‘If I get the puck, I’ll be on hold; I’m not going to shoot, I’ll find you, « said Parise. » We were out there a bit and Marcus had a little break and I made the decision to join him to help him. In the end they got the puck and I saw him change on the back check, I didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to change too so I stayed out there.
« Unfortunately, I think the ultimate setback was that they quit the game, » added Parise. « I know in my heart that I had the best of intentions helping Marcus get the hat trick, and unfortunately it ended up the way he did. »
This is what Parise explained to his teammates in a subsequent meeting and he said they understood his intentions.
« You are 100 percent behind me and have my back, » said Parise. « That’s what counts. »
Instead of Parise, the wilderness will attract Gerry Mayhew and Kyle Rau. Both players were recalled from the taxi squad; Ryan Hartman falls out with a lower body injury and creates the other open space in the line-up.
« You will often not like the decision as a player, » said Evason. « If we can be as honest and open as possible, hopefully the players can deal with and use it and use that emotion to turn it into a positive one for the future in the right direction. »
This is only the second time in Parise’s 16-year NHL career that he has missed a game as a healthy scratch. The other came on November 30, 2005 while he was a rookie with the New Jersey Devils.
With just three goals and six assists, Parise cut their playing time last month. Even so, he felt that his game was headed in the right direction, which makes the healthy scratch even more frustrating.
« It was going in the right direction, little steps, and here we are, » said Parise. « That’s ok. I’ll be ready to go when the time is right. »
On the subject of matching items
Sensational wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov: « I’ll give my word, I’ll try to shoot more. »
Wild lets lead slip, falls in overtime with 5: 4 against Golden Knights
Alex Stalock, a native of South St. Paul, requested exemptions from Edmonton Oilers
« Dollar Bill Kirill » quickly became popular with Wild teammates
Matt Dumba’s Summer Beater brings Wild to a 4-3 win over Kings
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