Lou Lamoriello believes Zach Parise will not retire despite not attending Islanders camp

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Zach Parise Islanders
Zach Parise
Photo courtesy of the New York Islanders

EAST MEADOW — Still undecided about his hockey-playing future, Zach Parise will not attend New York Islanders training camp beginning next week, general manager Lou Lamoriello said on Monday morning. However, the Hall-of-Fame executive still believes that the veteran left-winger will not retire.

“Zach will be with his family and we’ll see how the rest of the season goes,” Lamoriello said. “Right now, it’s important for him to be there, he’s spent a couple years away…

“To my knowledge, he is not retiring. I don’t feel like he will at this point.”

The 39-year-old is still in the throes of apparent contemplation betwen retiring or returning for a third season with the Islanders, as he divulged shortly after New York was bounced from the first round of the playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes. 

While he said it was either the Islanders or nowhere for a 19th NHL season, Lamoriello implored that the organization would leave the door open for the Minnesota native if he chose to return — a notion that clearly still stands. 

“The door is always open,” Lamoriello said, who selected Parise 20 years ago with the 17th overall pick of the 2003 NHL Draft when he was with the Devils. “I think everybody knows the relationship that I have with Zach, from when he was 17 years old. I understand and respect the decision of where he’s at.”

Islanders Zach parise
Zach PariseAP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Parise’s play alone suggests he has plenty left in the tank. He suited up for all 82 games in each of his two seasons with the Islanders, headlined by a 21-goal campaign last year. With it, he played on the top three lines, the power play, and the penalty kill. 

“He’s the standard,” Islanders star Mathew Barzal said of Parise back in May. “Off the ice especially. The way he treats his body. He probably works out probably more than anybody. He focuses on the game at all times. He’s just a pro… Everyone’s taking a little piece from Zach’s work ethic.”

In 1,224 career games with the New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, and Islanders, the winger has recorded 429 goals and 450 assists. His 879 career points rank 17th in NHL history by an American skater.

For more on the Islanders and Zach Parise, visit AMNY.com