Insider: 39-Year-Old Zach Parise Not Done With NHL Yet

After his 11th career 20+ goal season at the age of 38, it appears that unrestricted free agent Zach Parise still has something left in the tank. According to NHL Insider Chris Johnston in The Athletic, he's back on the ice and getting set for a possible return for a 19th season. 

Parise had a sneaky effective season in 2022-23, and the door was open for him to return to the (New York) Islanders for 2023-24, but he wasn’t ready to make that commitment in September.

By all indications, though, the itch may be returning.

Parise has resumed skating in an effort to build up his fitness should he decide to jump back into the fray. 

The now-39-year-old played the full 82 games each of the last two years with the Isles, so it's not as if he can't compete at the NHL level anymore, as if the 21 goals and 34 points in 16 minutes per night last year wasn't enough of a reminder. 

But as training camp rolled around last month, Parise just wasn't sure if he had the desire for another gruelling campaign. But it seems he did leave the door open for a possible return at some point with the Islanders, and New York, in turn, has left their door ajar as well. 

"To my knowledge, he is not retiring," said GM Lou Lamoriello during camp. "In fact, I don't feel he will at this point...

"I think everybody knows the relationship that I have with Zach, from when he was 17 years old, and I understand, appreciate, and respect the decision where he's at... and I think he made the right decision for his family (for now). And then we'll just keep the door open for him. And as I said to him, we'll keep the number open, too."

With 429 career goals and 879 points in 1,224 games, there's only one thing left for Parise to accomplish, and that's to win a Stanley Cup. 

Johnston figures that by Thanksgiving, we might have a better idea if Parise is willing to give it one more shot. 

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports