During the 2015-16 season, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise suffered a herniated disk. Parise played with that herniated disk for three months. On April 5, Parise took a hit from San Jose forward Logan Couture and missed the Wilds final regular season game against the Calgary Flames. Parise never recovered from his injury and missed all of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
During the playoffs, minus Parise, the Wild suffered mightily. The undermanned Wild never made it out of the first round and were beaten in six games by the Dallas Stars.
During the offseason, Parise chose rehabilitation instead of back surgery.
Wednesday, Michael Russo of the StarTribune was a guest host on KFAN for the Dan Barreiro show. During the show, Parise was a guest. During their segment together, the State of Hockey received a much-needed update on Parise’s health.
Wild fans can breathe a sigh of relief, the 32-year-old Parise has healed and is ready for the 2016-17 NHL season. Parise will also play for Team USA during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
“I feel really good,” Parise said, “All the rehab went and is going well. I’m happy with the progress. The doctors were really happy today. … I’m really happy with it. I’m good to go.”
Parise is confident that his back injury is behind him and he won’t reinjure his back.
“My MRI looked fantastic today” and that the doctors have told him,” Parise told Russo. “I’m no more susceptible right now than you are of getting a herniated disk. So for me, that was good news.
“I’m not concerned about taking a hit and [I’m not] worried it’s going to happen again. If it happens, it happens. But I’m not concerned that because it already happened that it’s going to happen again.”
Finally, during the 2015-16 season, the Wild finished 18th overall in goal scoring. A healthy Parise could help the Wild improve their goal scoring numbers. Last season, Parise missed 12 games and still finished second overall in points for the Wild. In 70 games, Parise scored a team-leading 25 goals and 53 points, he was also a minus-three.
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Eric is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey.