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J.P. Parise, former North Star and father of Zach Parise, dies at 73


Jean-Paul Parise, former North Star and father of Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise, died Wednesday night after battling lung cancer for about a year.

He was 73.

Zach Parise said earlier this week that watching his father battle Stage 4 lung cancer was "the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with in my life." He missed the Wild's Tuesday night game to be with his father.

The Parises released a statement through the Wild.

"After a brave battle with lung cancer, J.P. Parise passed away peacefully at home Wednesday night with his family by his side. We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from family, friends and the entire hockey community during this difficult time. J.P. was a great husband, father and grandpa and will be greatly missed by all of us."

J.P. Parise, a native to Ontario, Canada, was signed by the Boston Bruins as a teenager, making his NHL debut in 1965. He played 21 games with the Bruins and one for the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the North Stars in 1967, where he was named to the NHL All-Star team twice, Hockey Reference notes. He also was a standout for Team Canada.

Many people shared their condolences on Twitter:

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Wild defenseman Ryan Suter lost to his father to a heart attack just days before the season started. Cancer also took the life of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway’s father just weeks ago. On Sunday, longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died at the age of 49 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Following his playing career, Parise coached in the North Stars' organization as an assistant coach between 1980-88, except for 1984 when he was the head coach for Minnesota's then-minor league affiliate, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles.

Parise retired from the NHL and coached and served as the hockey director for Shattuck-Saint Mary's, where his son Zach and many others, like NHL star Sidney Crosby, have played.

Parise was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer a year ago. He has undergone chemotherapy, but recently chose to discontinue that treatment. His condition has reportedly begun to deteriorate.

Parise and the Summit Series of 1972

The Summit Series of 1972 was a series of eight games between Canada and Russia that spread across Canada and all the way to Moscow. On its 40-year anniversary in 2012, the New York Times referred to the series as a more defining moment in Canada's history than the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" is for Americans.

For perspective, a documentary on the series was created. It was titled, "Cold War on Ice: Summit Series '72."

Parise played for Canada, which won the series 4-3-1. But in the decisive eighth game, Parise was called for a 10-minute game misconduct penalty when he raised his stick in frustration at a referee. Parise explained to the New York Times what he remembered telling the ref.

"I said, ‘If I got 10, you better not be calling any more 10s, because you’re going to die right here.'"

Parise said he shouldn't have reacted with such anger because his kids were watching, but he doesn't regret it.

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