Zach Parise skated with a number of fellow locked-out NHLers down at his favorite place, the University of Minnesota, this morning and said the atmosphere amongst his brethren was “more confusion than anything else” after last night’s turn of events in labor negotiations between the league and NHLPA.
Parise, who one day hopes to actually wear a Wild sweater, said the week was a “roller coaster.”
“Everyone thought it was great the one day, and, of course there’s going to be some back and forth and high-blood pressure during some of the exchanges. That’s expected in any type of negotiation," Parise said by phone this afternoon. "But I think everyone was a little surprised how it turned out, seeing how it was going so well to where it is now.”
Still Parise doesn’t believe last night’s breakdown means the end to a possible shortened season.
“I don’t think it’s as dramatic as everyone’s trying to make it,” Parise said. “I don’t know the ins and outs of everything. But we have an agreement on a lot of things, I mean, a lot of things. There are still one or two things that need to be talked about, and in my eyes that’s not a total derailment of a negotiation. I think people are being a little dramatic thinking this is Doomsday, which I don’t believe.”
It was clear to me talking to a handful of players this week that some are very nervous, are worried about their careers and think it’s time they’re given the opportunity to vote. I asked Parise if he feels there comes a point where the union should present the league’s best offer to union membership for a vote.
“I’m not sure what our next step is,” Parise said. “That’s why you have a guy like Don [Fehr] to get us the best deal possible and a fair deal for everybody. So I’m not going to sit here and make it sound like I know how to negotiate because I don’t. For a player to think they can actually negotiate with an owner and make a deal, that can’t happen. That’s why we have him and we’ll find out what the next step will be.
“But I think people are overreacting.”