Number 18 – Jean-Paul Parise
Jean-Paul (JP) Parise was born in Smooth Rock Falls on December 11, 1941.
Going undrafted, Parise was signed by the Boston Bruins and assigned to their junior hockey league affiliate. The head coach of the team, the Niagara Falls Flyers, was Leighton “Happy” Emms, future general manager of the Bruins.
Side note – the Ontario Hockey League had an Emms Division. It was named after “Happy” Emms and both the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Sudbury Wolves played out of.
Jean-Paul Parise – Playing Career
When Parise was signed by Boston, the league was still only in it’s original 6 teams. Bouncing around the minors and playing a few games with Boston allowed Jean-Paul to work on his two-way game.
Jean-Paul joined the expansion Minnesota North Stars during their inaugural 1967-68 season. He was traded to Minnesota half way through the season and his offensive prowess took off.
Playing the better part of seven seasons in Minnesota, he made a name for himself as an offensive weapon. Having multiple 20+ goal seasons, he was named to the league all-star team in the 1970 and 1973 seasons.
He was so good, that he joined Team Canada at the 1972 Canada-Russia summit series. Although playing in only 6 of the 8 games, while playing alongside Phil Esposito he scored twice and notched two assists.
Parise had the second biggest moment in the final game (other than Henderson’s goal). The refereeing was so bad in Russia’s favour that Parise threatened to swing his stick at the referee’s head.
He never went through with it but was ejected anyway. The refereeing improved for Canada after this.
Parise was traded to the New York Islanders during the 1974-75 season. He would go on to have two more seasons with more than 20 goals.
He eventually retired after playing in Minnesota after the 1978-79 season.
Parise held the record for fastest goal to start a playoff OT, taking only 11 seconds. This record lasted 11 years.
Jean-Paul Parise – Life after the NHL
After playing a majority of his career in Minnesota, he rejoined the team after retirement as an assistant coach.
He was an assistant from 1980 to 1988 with a one year hiatus to coach their farm team, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles.
From 2008 to 2010, he briefly returned to coaching. He served one season as the head coach and another as assistant for the Des Moines Buccaneers.
Parise, also coached and was Hockey Director at Shattuck-Saint Mary’s. Shattuck-Saint Mary’s is a boarding school in Minnesota that has produced top level NHL talent such as Sydney Crosby and Jonathan Toews.
In 2014, Parise announced that he had advance stage lung cancer and succumb to the disease two months later.
Parise left behind his wife, four children (One, Zach who plays for the Minnesota Wild) and six grandchildren.
In case you missed it, check out the other players on the Top 20 NHL Players list