Zach Parise is 27 today, which incidentally is my favorite number ever on a Devils sweater (Niedermayer!). I was about to abbreviate Zach’s name to ZP, but I think I’ll just call him Zippy from now on.
Zippy wants a contract for his birthday. He and the Devils are scheduled for arbitration on Wednesday. Zach missed almost all of last season with a knee injury, though almost made a comeback at the very end. If they’d made the playoffs, perhaps he would have. As is, it’s been a long lonely lonely time without him. The Devils certainly felt it last season, even with their salary cap woes and surprising burst of late-season success.
Zippy made $5 million last year, up from $2.5 and $3 million the years before. In early July, he said he’d take a 1-year deal to avoid arbitration but that the goal is a long-term contract. Arbitration is a last resort and sometimes gets ugly, so here’s hoping Zippy and the Devs get something locked up before then.
Before the injury, Zach had a great seasons in ’08-09 (94 points) and ’09-10 (82 points). The Devils made the playoffs both years but were eliminated in the first round. And of course, there was this goal. The shining time in which average Americans cared about hockey for one whole afternoon.
So happy birthday, Zip. Get signed and get back out there soon.