After suffering a lower-back injury during the 2015-16 NHL season, Zach Parise seems healthy and ready to go for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. When asked if there were any doubts about his ability to play in the star-studded tournament, Parise responded “Not in my mind. Unless the doctors say something right before we leave with my physical. But I feel I’ll be fine to play.”
My story today on Zach Parise's recovery from his back injury and being ready for the World Cup and Wild's season: https://t.co/fFD4KLQoCN
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) August 10, 2016
Parise has played internationally for the United States in the past, twice playing in the Olympics, as well as playing in the IIHF World Junior Championships and the World Championships. Parise mentioned that he’s looking forward to representing the United States once again, stating “That’s always special. I hate saying it, but especially where I am in my career as it’s going by, you just don’t know how many opportunities again you are going to get.”
At 32-years-old, Parise is clearly closer to the end of his career than the beginning. That fact, however, is hardly even noticeable when looking at how effective Parise has been throughout his career, even over the last few seasons. Since joining the Wild, Parise has played in four seasons and recorded 18 goals (lockout shortened-season), 29 goals (in 67 games), 33 goals (in 74 games), and 25 goals (in 70 games) in each season respectively. Parise is a virtual lock for 50 or more points each season, with 60-70 still very much in the realm of possibility.
The United States would get a huge boost if Parise is indeed ready to go for the World Cup. With the United States roster set to meet on Sept. 4 for physicals and set to play in their first pre-tournament contest on Sept. 9, the clock to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey is quickly winding down.