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Minnesota says goodbye to hockey legend J.P. Parise

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The State of Hockey said goodbye to one of its legends on the day before Hockey Day Minnesota.

The funeral for former North Stars great J.P. Parise was held Friday afternoon at the Colonial Church of Edina.

Parise was the father of Wild star Zach Parise. He died at age 73 last week after a year-long battle with lung cancer.

As a player, Parise's career spanned from 1963-79. He spent nine years with the North Stars and was a two-time NHL All-Star. He also played for Boston, Toronto, the New York Islanders and the Cleveland Barons scoring 238 goals in 890 NHL games.

In 1972, Parise, a native of Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, helped the Canadian Olympic team beat the Soviet Union in the Summit Series.

After finishing his playing career with the North Stars in 1979, Parise stayed in the organization where he served as a long time assistant coach.

But as great as he was on the ice, the Let's Play Hockey Blog, says Parise may have done his best work while at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, where he worked as a coach and the Director of Hockey from the early 1990s through 2008.

"This work leaves behind one of the rich facets to his jeweled life's legacy. Parise earned his way into the hearts, minds and memories of so many players and students. He accomplished this by sharing his joy and enthusiasm for the game, and by his dedication to helping the young players become better people in life beyond the game."

One of the many players Parise coached at Shattuck is Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews.

"He had so many great stories and one-liners, just advice he'd give to the young guys in high school there," Toews said to Comcast Chicago last week. "If you ever were going through a tough time or weren't playing well or were having a tough time being away from home, he always seemed to have a way to pick you up. He had an amazingly positive effect on myself and a lot of the other young hockey players in Shattuck."

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