The Minnesota Wild announced that winger Zach Parise has undergone back surgery and will miss eight to ten weeks of the NHL season. The 33-year-old Parise is in the sixth season of a 13-year, $98 million contract. He is currently one of the top twenty highest paid players in the NHL. He served as the captain of the 2014 US Olympic team in Sochi.
Zach Parise Out 8-10 Weeks
The Wild winger missed the start of the Wild season due to pain from a herniated disk in his lower back. This injury caused pain and weakness in his lower legs and back. His recent surgery is to relieve that pain and weakness. The team announced the surgery was performed at the TRIA Orthopedic Center by Dr. Kevin Mullaney. The Wild hope their star winger can recover sooner rather than later.
Parise has a history of back injuries. This is the second injury in less than 2 years. His 2016 injury forced Parise to miss the playoffs. His return last season showed productivity and a return to form. He scored 19 goals in 69 games. Parise was in pain for parts of last year and received conventional therapy throughout the 2017 season. The current injury occurred 2 weeks before training camp. He participated sporadically in practice sessions during camp, while not opting for surgery at that time.
A Leader On and Off the Ice
Parise has been a stalwart for the Wild and played 830 NHL games. He provides leadership to the Wild on and off the ice. His leadership does not go unnoticed by his teammates. Jason Zucker described Parise’s leadership to the Star Tribune. “He’s a great player. The stuff he brings on the ice goes without saying. He’s also a great leader.” Zucker continued:
You never want to have to go through any of this as it is. And having to it at this point of the season is obviously tough. He’ll be back and he’ll be back stronger than ever.
Minnesota is plagued with injuries. Charlie Coyle is out until December with a broken leg. Additionally, Nino Niederreiter suffered a sprained ankle. His return is still unknown. The Wild hope Parise can return to the lineup by Christmas.