By Michael Russo
I’ll be back on in an hour or so to post the transcription of a Q&A I had with Wild player rep Nick Schultz on the union situation, but I wanted to quickly let you know I chatted with free agent Mark Parrish down at the Octagon camp this morning in St. Louis Park.
Parrish, the Bloomington native, Plymouth resident and former Wild, is once again in limbo and trying to latch on to a team as NHL training camps approach. Last year, remember, he signed with the Dallas Stars a month into camp and debuted with a hat trick in Anaheim in November.
He’s hoping to sign with a team, but he’s also been talking to his former agent and now GM, Brian Lawton, about a tryout in Tampa Bay and his former Islanders teammate and now GM, Garth Snow, about a tryout with the Islanders.
Both have cap space and room; Tampa’s got a top-six forward slot on the left side.
Parrish looks in exceptional shape and seems to be skating better than ever after working this summer with powerskating extraordinaire Barry Karn, who runs the local Karn Skating Dynamics and works with the Calgary Flames.
“I’ve never felt better on the ice. It’s amazing. I’ve known him for years and finally got stubborn enough to realize I probably need a little help with my skating. I can already feel the difference.”
If it doesn’t work out on the Island or on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Parrish said he’d go to Europe.
“I would if it came to that. I’m not afraid of that. I just want to still play hockey, so if that’s where it would be, that’s where it would be. But I’m still holding out hopes that something will work out here [in the NHL].”
Asked how tough this is, Parrish said, “Not nearly as tough last year. Last year was a lot more tough mentally more than anything and I think that kind of drained on me physically. This summer I came in with a little bit of a clean slate after Dallas, feel good and got to a very good spot mentally. I’m excited to land somewhere.”
Parrish’s wife is also pregnant with the couple’s second child and first son. His name will be Turner.
I’ll be back in an hour.