• By: Katie Hartai

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile: J.P. Parisé

J.P. Parisé: Athlete, Ice Hockey

Imagine being 16-years-old and recruited by the NHL. This is a dream for many young hockey players. Amazingly, for J.P. Parisé, it was reality.

Parisé began his NHL career with the Boston Bruins and then played for the Minnesota North Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Cleveland Barons.

J.P. PraiseAnd if that isn’t a big enough career, what Parisé will be remembered for most will always be playing with Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series—some of the greatest games in hockey history.

The renowned series against the Soviet Union was organized out of Canada’s frustration with not being allowed to ice a team at the World Championships or Olympics. They had long been recognized as world leaders in the sport but, after withdrawing from international competitions, the Soviet’s quickly replaced them.

The idea of the Summit Series was to put the best against the best and come out with a single champion. Parisé’s contribution to these games, including two goals and two assists, was essential to Canada’s victory.

After an amazing career full of talent and dedication, Parisé retired from the NHL and spent nine seasons as a North Stars assistant coach. His passion for the game was undeniable. He was in charge of the hockey program at Shattuck-St. Mary’s school in Faribault, one of the top prep hockey schools in the United States. It was here that Parisé passed along his knowledge and experience and helped train future superstars like Sidney Crosby.

J.P. Parisé’s enthusiasm for the good ol’ hockey game had a direct impact on his children. His youngest son, Zach, is a current NHL player as an alternate captain for the Minnesota Wild. His other son Jordan is a retired professional goaltender who has played in both the United States and Europe.

The hockey community lost a great mentor when Parisé lost his battle against lung cancer this past January. He was 73.

Click here for more information about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.