Zach Parise needed at least another night of sleep before picking a team to play for next season.
Parise said Tuesday that he hadn’t made a decision and doesn’t have a timetable for one soon after landing in his home state at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
“I’m back here to talk with my family and make sure that we’ve done all the work that we need to do make sure we make the right decision,” Parise told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
Parise has scored at least 30 goals every season since 2006-07, with the exception of his injury-shortened 2010-11 campaign. His best season was 2008-09 when he scored 45 goals and had 49 assists while playing in all 82 games with New Jersey.
New Jersey wants to re-sign its top forward while Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit and Minnesota are among the teams that are trying to lure him away.
Parise said he has been looking at where he wants to live, where he’ll be happy and what team he wants to play for since hitting the market Sunday. And, he’s looking forward to being done with the process.
“It’s been a stressful couple days,” Parise told the Star Tribune.
Ryan Suter, the top defenseman available, and Parise went into Day 3 of NHL free agency with teams and fans waiting for at least one of them to make a decision.
Suter’s agent, Neil Sheehy, told the AP in an email: “When a young man is asked to commit for 13 years, why is it considered extraordinary to take a few days to make a decision?. A deal will happen when it happens.”
The two free agents are both 27 and have been with only one team during their seven-season careers. Suter has played for the Nashville Predators.
Capitals sign defenseman Hillen
The Washington Capitals signed free agent defenseman Jack Hillen to a one-year contract worth $650,000.
The team announced Tuesday that it added Hillen, who had two goals, four assists, 65 blocks and a plus-minus of plus-6 with the Nashville Predators last season.
Hillen, 26, also played parts of four seasons with the New York Islanders. He has 10 goals, 46 assists and 129 penalty minutes in 230 NHL games. He also played for the U.S. team at the 2010 world championship.
Hillen was a college teammate of former Toronto Maple Leaf Joey Crabb, who also with the Capitals on Monday. The two played at Colorado College from 2004-06.
Around the league
AVALANCHE: Top-scoring defenseman Erik Johnson is staying with Colorado. The team announced Tuesday that it signed the 24-year-old restricted free agent to a four-year contract. The terms weren’t released. Johnson led all Avalanche defensemen last season with 26 points in 73 games.
CANADIENS: Goaltender Carey Price signed a six-year contract worth $39 million with Montreal on Monday. Price, 24, is a two-time All-Star who has been in the NHL for five seasons.
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