Archive

Penguins star Crosby’s thoughts with Parise family | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Penguins star Crosby’s thoughts with Parise family

ST. PAUL, Minn. — It might be tough to tell given his torrid start to the season, but Sidney Crosby is human.

Which means that he, like everyone else, was saddened to learn that J.P. Parise — a Minnesota hockey legend and current Wild player Zach Parise’s dad — had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year during the Sochi Olympics.

Crosby remembers the elder Parise as the hockey director at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., a prep school where Crosby played and won a national championship in 2002-03.

Though it’s been months since Parise’s diagnosis, the story has gained considerable steam since being made public at the end of September.

“He’s a great man, and he has such a great attitude,” Crosby said of Parise. “He’s always positive, always upbeat. With a mindset like that, you feel like he’s a guy who can overcome it.”

Crosby became close with the Parise family while at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. If the hockey team was off during a given weekend, Parise and his wife, Donna, would invite Crosby over for dinner.

“They both were really good to me,” Crosby said.

Parise played six seasons and parts of two others with Minnesota. He was named to the NHL All-Star Game twice and had 27 goals and 75 points in 1972-73.

Crosby’s said his favorite Parise memory remains hearing him tell stories about the 1972 Summit Series against Russia, where Parise played six of eight games for Team Canada against Russia.

Parise even played on a line with Phil Esposito in the Summit Series, totaling two goals and two assists.

“As a Canadian kid and knowing the history with that series, he just had so many stories all the time,” Crosby said. “He played for so long. I always found that to be pretty fun, to listen to him talk and tell stories about that.”

Parise, 72, has faced his diagnosis head-on. In the story chronicling Zach Parise’s emotional struggle of concentrating on hockey while his father undergoes chemotherapy, J.P. Parise rattled off a few gems to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

One example:

“At the end of the day, I am still alive,” Parise said. “I am still alive, and tomorrow I will still be alive. I am not dying tomorrow. How long this will last, I don’t know. It depends on my attitude, it depends on nature, it depends on how I attack it.”

Parise’s reaction to his diagnosis doesn’t come as a surprise to the Penguins captain.

Crosby wasn’t sure whether J.P. Parise would make an appearance at Tuesday’s game, although the elder Parise has insisted that he would keep attending hockey games.

He was hopeful, though, to look up in the stands and see J.P. Parise, someone he has looked up to from a metaphorical standpoint for years.

“It’s definitely difficult,” Crosby said. “But if there’s anybody who has the right mentality and the attitude that you need coming through something like that, it’s him.”

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.