Wild's Parise looking ahead following tough year away from the rink

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise sees this season going better than the last.

The 31-year-old lost his father, former NHLer J.P. Parise, in early January, and admitted his father's death - which came shortly after teammate Ryan Suter's father passed away suddenly - took a toll on him.

"It was hard. I’m not going to lie," Parise told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune. "At this point now, this year can only be better, I guess. It was a long season, a long year away from the rink."

Despite taking his dad's loss hard, Parise didn't let it impact his play on the ice. He led the Wild in scoring during the regular season with 33 goals and 62 points, and tallied another four goals and 10 points over 10 postseason games.

"All things considered, I was happy," Parise said. "I felt like I played well. Physically, I felt good. Mentally, I can’t say I felt as good, but all things considered, I thought I had a pretty good year and want to continue to get better."

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Wild's Parise looking ahead following tough year away from the rink
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