I’m sure the Minnesota Wild would have loved to have had their 2013 season extended by a few weeks. Minnesota would fall quite quietly to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the NHL Playoffs and will now look ahead to next season. If there is a definite bright spot and a player that could help the Wild get deeper into the playoffs next year, it would be Zach Parise.
Parise had 18 goals and 20 assists this season during the shortened 48-game NHL slate after signing a massive contract with the team. I thought he would have some early problems adjusting to a new team, but I was obviously wrong after he scored two goals in two straight games within his first five outings with Minnesota. It is going to be up to Parise to score even more next season in my opinion if the Wild want to get through the new playoff structure that is about to take place.
The biggest issue could come from the Blackhawks since the first round of the playoffs will now be in each team’s own division, and with realignment, the two teams will be together. I’m not sure how the roster in Chicago will look next season, but I expect some changes there too. The Wild have made all their major adjustments already, and that could really help the team going forward. I am of the belief that the Wild will find a way to make the playoffs again next season and will make it even deeper than just the first round. Minnesota is going to be able to count on Parise for the next decade.