Zach Parise spent the first seven years of his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils before signing with the Minnesota Wild.
The 2011-12 season was his last with the Devils. He had to endure questions about his future throughout that season much like Steven Stamkos is doing now.
The hot rumor is, like Parise, Stamkos will leave the only organization he’s ever known to go play in his hometown.
For Parise, that was Minneapolis, Minnesota. For Stamkos, that’s Toronto, Ontario.
As one of the leaders in the Devils locker room, Parise remembers just how difficult the situation was at the time.
“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 said, per the Tampa Bay Times.
As the Times points out, these two situations aren’t exactly alike.
First, Lou Lamoriello, who was New Jersey’s General Manager at the time of Parise’s departure, didn’t like negotiating new contracts in season. After the Devils made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, Parise and his former team only had a few weeks to get a new deal done.
Secondly, unlike the Lightning, the Devils didn’t have a stable ownership group when Parise was considering a move.
What’s Parise’s advice for Stamkos?
“If you’re going to decide to wait for (after) the season, go home and be by yourself. 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.”