Tom Gulitti caught up with Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise and writes that the 32-year-old should be ready for the World Cup of Hockey. Parise suffered from a lower back injury last season which left him out of the Wild’s plans and as Gulitti writes, causing Parise to wonder if he could continue to play hockey. Luckily for him, Minnesota, and Team USA, it appears that his back is on the mend.
Gulitti quotes Parise as saying this regarding the injury:
“It was really scary,” Parise said. “That’s not very comfortable at all, for the longest time, having no feeling in your leg and in your foot. You are kind of wondering, ’When is this going to go away? When is this going to go away?’ And one day I woke up and it was good, so it was good after that. But, at that time, it’s really scary not feeling anything and really struggling to get out of bed.
“You’re like, ’Is this something I’m going to have to live with?’ But, so far in August, it’s been really good.”
Team USA will need Parise as the roster is one constructed of hard hitters and grinders, something that will push grit but lack in goal scoring prowess Skilled goal scorers like Bobby Ryan and Phil Kessel were left off the list while bubble players like Justin Abdelkader. Patrick Kane and Joe Pavelski will help, but to keep up with Canada, they will need all hands on deck. Goal scorers like Parise, who also add a physical element, will be crucial to have for Team USA’s success.
The Wild, on the other hand, welcome a new coach in Bruce Boudreau and a big name in Eric Staal. They’re looking to find sustained success after getting bumped early from the playoffs last season and struggling to get past the Chicago Blackhawks in previous seasons. Parise is certainly a key in that happening, and any time away will certainly hurt the Wild’s chances.