Found July 09, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
Atlanta_thrashers_v_c642
ST. PAUL, Minn. Less than an hour away from the Xcel Energy Center, the new home for Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise is the rink where Parise shined as a star for Shattuck-St. Mary's. The prep school in Faribault, Minn., has turned into a hockey hotbed for high school players, and the school has Parise to thank for that.Parise spent two seasons playing at SSM, from 2000-2002. During the 2001-02 season, Parise scored a whopping 178 points (77 goals, 101 assists) in 67 games with the Sabres. It was a sign that perhaps Parise had what it took to play hockey at the highest level, and those close to him at Shattuck could see it early on."There's no guarantee with anything when you're that young," said Tom Ward, Parise's coach at SSM. "You could definitely see guys that would have a chance if things keep going their way and they don't have a severe injury or something like that. Zach was definitely one of those guys, for sure."Shattuck-St. Mary's is unlike any other hockey program in the state of Minnesota. In fact, there are few schools in the country that rival the rigorous, lengthy schedules and numerous hours of ice time offered at SSM. That's a big reason why Parise, a Minnesota native, enrolled for two seasons at the school."I learned a lot about the right way to play the game," Parise said Monday as the Wild introduced him and defenseman Ryan Suter at a press conference. "I had some really good coaches there. It really is a special place down there."But his father also had a big role in Parise ending up at Shattuck. J.P. Parise played for the Minnesota North Stars, among other teams, and later went on to coach the North Stars. After coaching in the NHL, Parise served as the prep coach and director of hockey at SSM. Naturally, his sons Zach and Jordan went on to play for the Sabres.Before Zach Parise left his mark on Shattuck-St. Mary's his father, J.P., was helping turn the school into the powerhouse that it currently is."He was one of the founding fathers," Ward said of J.P. Parise. "He took over the program from Craig Norwich, who started it, and did a great job molding the thing and putting it together. J.P., he spent a lot of time and energy here and made this thing what it was. We're just here carrying on and keeping it trucking."Many notable NHL players have called Shattuck-St. Mary's home, including Parise. Perhaps the name most often associated with the school is Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who spent just one year at SSM but also helped put the program on the map as he rose to stardom in the NHL. Crosby and Parise didn't overlap at SSM, however, as Crosby played from 2002-03, when Parise was a freshman at the University of North Dakota. Chay Genoway became the first SSM alum to play for the Minnesota Wild when he appeared in one game last season. Parise now has the chance to be the first regular contributor in Wild history to emerge from Shattuck-St. Mary's."Those guys that are playing in the National Hockey League, whenever they get a chance to mention the fact that they had played and went to school at Shattuck-St. Mary's, we couldn't buy that kind of advertising and that kind of marketing for our school and our hockey program," Ward said. "Is it going to be great for us here at Shattuck and for me personally? Yeah, for sure. But the greatest benefit is going to be to Minnesota hockey, to people that are Wild fans and to youth hockey."While playing for SSM, Parise and Suter crossed paths several times. Back then, Suter was playing for the Madison Capitols, an independent AAA hockey team from Wisconsin. He also played for Culver Academy in 2000-2001, a team Shattuck-St. Mary's views as a rival.Like their schools, Suter and Parise became somewhat of rivals at the time as well. The two ultimately signed with the Wild last week because they wanted to play on the same team as friends. But back then, there was no love lost."We hated each other playing," Suter said Monday. "We would battle, for sure. He was the top player for Shattuck and I was the top player for Madison. We'd have to beat each other to win."A decade later, Shattuck-St. Mary's still holds a special place in Parise's heart. He keeps in touch with Ward and said he and his former coach still go fishing together in the offseason. And all of Parise's groomsmen in his upcoming wedding are friends he met while at Shattuck."A lot of memories playing there," Parise said. "I had an unbelievable experience playing there."The Sabres hang up the jerseys of all the alumni that eventually make it to the NHL. Near the front of the pack, next to the likes of Crosby and Chicago's Jonathan Toews, is Parise's red No. 9 Devils sweater. Ward said the school won't replace it with a green Wild jersey, instead keeping the New Jersey sweater framed and hanging as a reminder of Parise's ascent to the player he has become.Parise definitely honed his hockey craft during his two seasons under the tutelage of Ward at Shattuck-St. Mary's. The leadership that resulted in Parise being named captain in New Jersey and alternate captain with the Wild, that's been there from the beginning."He's the same player now that he was then," Ward said. "He was an energetic, hard-working, humble kid. He hasn't changed a lot. That's one of the most endearing qualities about him is the kid hasn't changed a lot from when he was 15 years old. "He's going to do anything he possibly can to help that group. It doesn't always have to be about him. He doesn't have to score or he doesn't have to be the guy. He just wants to help them win and he wants to be out there trying to help the guys win."Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Devil's fan says goodbye to Zach Parise

This New Jersey Devils fan was not too happy for the departure of captain Zach Parise. Watch him as he sets this Zach Parise jersey on fire with a sparkler.He's not alone though, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello even had to say, "There is no question we're disappointed", shortly after Parise left.Parise signed with the Minnesota Wild along with friend and defenseman Ryan...

Parise, Suter changing the vibe around Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. Zach Parise proudly put on his new Minnesota Wild jersey, sporting the No. 11 his dad famously wore with the Minnesota North Stars, and smiled for the cameras alongside friend and now teammate Ryan Suter on Monday. Parise's unease of being the center of the hockey world for an entire week in July was easily apparent. He smiled for the cameras in his new sweater...

Next up for Wild's Leipold: practice facility

ST. PAUL, Minn. Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold unveiled his shiny new, expensive purchases on Monday, introducing big free-agent signings Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to the team's excited fan base and is hoping for another new addition. Leipold's hoping for another big addition to the organization soona new practice facility across the street from the Xcel Energy Center...

Parise, Suter could make Minnesota the place to be

The Minnesota Wild are hoping that landing the top two free agents on the market with massive contracts will help turn flyover country into the place to be for top talent going forward. The Wild introduced forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter on Monday, five days after signing them to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts. They were the premiere players available this...

Potential announcements at the Wild Press Conference

The Wild are planning a press conference in under a half an hour. The idea is that it is an introductory press conference for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter is quaint. Very nice. I've been around the Wild and Minnesota sports for too long. I have some other ideas of what might be said at the press conference.- The real reason Parise and Suter signed with the Wild was becuase they...

A whole new world for Red Wings

Since Ryan Suter and Zach Parise agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild on Independence Day, the Detroit Red Wings have been reassessing what appears to be their limited options. While the Wings take a long, hard look in the mirror before they begin to implement Plan B, C, D or even E, there's a theory being bandied about as to why the mighty Wings have not fared well in the...

Detroit Red Wings fail to ink Suter or Parise: what now?

First Brad Stuart left Detroit for San Jose, then Jiri Hudler signed a fat contract in Calgary.  Both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter chose Minnesota over Detroit, surprising hockey fans everywhere and leaving the Motor City quite dejected.  With the top two free agents off the board, what now for the Detroit Red Wings? Parise [...]

Red Wings mid-day news: digging into a Hockeytown defense and preparing for Bryan Rufenach day

Waking up with a start after a surprisingly poor night’s worth of sleep, I see that the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Howard Sinker mocking a certain part of the Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo’s suggestion that failing to land Zach Parise and Ryan Suter does not in fact mark the end of the world as we know it… [I]n retrospect, it may turn out to be the best thing that could have...

2012 Wild Prospect Camp begins with a lot of promise and high hopes

With less than a week since the ink dried on the identical contracts to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter the forward momentum of the growth of a hockey organization continues irregardless of that improbable outcome.  I am of course talking about the 2012 Wild Prospect Camp which opens tomorrow.  Heck, even as there are still a little over an hour (as I write this) Parise and Suter'...

Paul McCann: More Mainstream Media Arrogance

In the latest ultimate example of arrogance by a member of the mainstream hockey media, Tony Gallagher puts forward a modest proposal that even Jonathan Swift would have problems swallowing. Apparently he believes that teams in the NHL that accept revenue sharing should not be allowed to go after free agents like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, and throws in a thinly veiled dig at Nashville’s...

Owners vs. Owners

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province, There are some well informed people around the NHL who feel the massive spend fest over the last few days has an excellent chance to make the new collective bargaining agreement negotiations a lot more difficult…. Take the behaviour of the Carolina Hurricanes for instance. Here was a team that was apparently hot and heavy after Zach...

OH C'MON LARRY....

Devils lost Adam Oates a couple of weeks ago as he became the head coach of the Washington Capitals. Then Zach Parise left to go play the rest of his career in Minnesota. NOW Larry Robinson is leaving us to go coach in San Jose?? WTF is going on? Is this a sign about the financial situation in NJ? We were 2 wins away from a cup, guys shouldn't be bolting like this....
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.