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Parise understands decision facing Stamkos

If anyone knows what it's like to be in Steven Stamkos' shoes, it's Zach Parise.

Back in 2012, Parise decided to leave the team that drafted him and for which he served as captain, choosing to sign a lucrative 13-year, $98-million contract with his hometown Minnesota Wild along with defenseman Ryan Suter.

"It's tough being in that situation, being a captain. That's your team. The guys look up to you and respect you. It's not easy," the former Devil told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Parise added, "If you're going to decide to wait for (after) the season, go home and be by yourself. When you're surrounded by everything, it's tough to think of leaving. I'm not telling him to leave, but for me, the best thing is we went home just for a couple weeks (and) tried to figure out what to do."

Parise qualified his advice by admitting the Lightning captain indeed has a tough decision ahead, and will have to assess whether the grass really will be greener on the other side.

At the same time, it can be an enjoyable process, and Stamkos is surely in for a nice payday when it's all said and done.

"It's fun," Parise said of hitting the open market. "You're getting courted by every team. It's flattering. It's humbling. It's a really neat thing. … For (Stamkos), it's one time, (get an) eight-year deal (with the Lightning) or seven somewhere else."

As it does every year, the NHL's free agency period begins on July 1.

Parise understands decision facing Stamkos
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