Zach Parise celebrated after scoring a goal in the first period. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com, April 26, 2015, St. Paul, Minn., Xcel Energy Center, NHL, Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues, Game 6, Stanley Cup Playoffs (Edited by Eric)

Zach Parise’s 2017 Comeback Hits the Ice Thursday Night…. In Iowa

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Zach Parise celebrated after scoring a goal in the first period. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com, April 26, 2015, St. Paul, Minn., Xcel Energy Center, NHL, Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues, Game 6, Stanley Cup Playoffs (Edited by Eric)

Zach Parise is scheduled to make his long-awaited return to competitive hockey on Thursday night.

Somewhat unfortunately for Wild fans, it won’t be on the NHL stage. As part of his injury rehab, the 33 year-old will be playing with the franchises minor league affiliate, the Iowa Wild.

Like winning $6 on $50 worth of pull-tabs, this is better than nothing. Beggars can’t be chooser’s. Given that Parise hasn’t skated on game-ice since April, just seeing him in an ACTUAL contest will be a blessing.

After a rocky first couple of months to their season, the positivity associated with Wednesday is appreciated. Bruce Boudreau’s club was able to parlay the Zach Parise news into a 4-2 victory over Dallas last night. The win snapped a 2 game losing streak and moved the club to 19-15-3 overall.

It has now been over two months since the winger’s back surgery. After practicing with the Wild the last couple of weeks, he has been cleared for full contact.

While Iowa has a back-to-back on Thursday/Friday, Parise is only scheduled to skate in the first contest. The game plan is to have him come back to the Twin Cities after the game. The staff, along with Zach, will then evaluate how he feels, and go from there.

Why the trip to Iowa? Players getting sent down for a game or two during their rehab stint is nothing new. This isn’t the Twins sending Byung Ho Park to the minors last spring. Zach actually seems like he prefers it this way.

Parise refereed to a friend who went through a similar situation when offering his own take on the topic:

  • “He said in hindsight that he wished he had gone down and played some games and gotten in shape and then stepped in. It takes awhile to catch back up to the conditioning level, the endurance level that these guys are at. It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to get in those games and get those reps in. It just made the most sense that this would be a good starting point.”

In 2012, Minnesota agreed to a 13 year deal with Parise. 13 YEARS!! So…… no rush…… other than playoff hopes, right???

Wild fans have their heart and checkbooks invested in this one. Knock on wood that this rehab stint is Parise’s last…. which some Wild fans might find hard to believe.

Parise is a legend within these borders and naturally, we want to see our own succeed. On top of that, the Wild are kind of obligated to continue to pay the man:

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com

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