Wild's Parise sympathetic to Stamkos' contract situation: 'It's not easy'

Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

If Steven Stamkos is, or becomes truly torn up about his pending unrestricted free agency, he'll have counsel waiting in Zach Parise.

Parise went home in 2012, signing a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Wild a season after being named captain of the New Jersey Devils. So he can most certainly sympathize with the internal tug-of-war that the Tampa Bay Lightning captain may, or may not, be dealing with.

"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," Parise told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

"If you're going to decide to wait for (after) the season, go home and be by yourself," he added. "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 wasn't offering advice to Stamkos specifically, but did indicate that entering free agency and having all the options on the table is a worthwhile exercise.

"It's fun," he said of the process. "You're getting courted by every team. It's flattering. It's humbling. It's a really neat thing."

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Wild's Parise sympathetic to Stamkos' contract situation: 'It's not easy'
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