Last year, Zach Parise came to the Wild, and he helped the Wild go to their first playoff series in five years. There's no doubt that the gritty, hard-working style of play combined to his talent was a big part of the reason the Wild made it. Take Parise from the team, and the Wild miss the playoffs, and we likely see a new GM and coach.
However, Parise is being paid to be a franchise player, to carry the Wild. So even with his, and the team's success, it was a bit discouraging to see his points per game to be at 0.79, which was his lowest in a full season since the 2006-07 season.
It's not all bad, since if you extrapolate his numbers to a full season, you'd see his numbers at fairly normal levels for his career. He's spent most of his career hovering between the 0.8-0.85 range, with a spike into the 1.00+ range for two seasons (08-09 and 09-10) before getting hurt in the season after that. It's also worth noting that his goal production was in line with his usual 30-goal pace, and he was also on pace to fire over 300 shots over an 82-game season.
Now, 30 goals and 65 points is a very good, very valuable player. It's possible that he'll be worth every penny if he doesn't rebound to his prime numbers. But it would lend more to the Wild's Cup hopes if he can fully click with a Wild center and leap back into the PPG range.
What do you think, Wilderness? Can Parise make it back to PPG land? Does he need to do that for the Wild to be successful?