As noted yesterday by The Athletic’s Michael Russo and now confirmed by the team, Zach Parise has undergone microdiscectomy (back) surgery and will be out for eight to ten weeks.
The surgery was to relieve a herniated disc that was causing Parise pain in his leg, and will likely keep him out through Christmas. It’s a big blow for the Wild, who were relying on Parise’s play to help them stake their claim as a Stanley Cup contender. The 33-year old is one of the most consistent offensive producers on the club, though he did take a slight step backwards last year.
Instead, the Wild will have to rely on their next wave of talent in players like Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek. While the veteran core of the team remains, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter have dealt with their own injuries this season. The club, now 2-2-2, will take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight.
With Minnesota so close to the salary cap ceiling, they will likely place Parise on long-term injured reserve to free up some of his $7.54MM contract. While they’re already in LTIR with Coyle’s deal, both are expected back at some point. Both will provide some level of relief, but the team will likely still have to remain fairly fiscally responsible in the coming weeks. By adding any new contracts, they could put themselves in an impossible situation when the pair of forwards get back on the ice.