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Wilderness Walk: 11

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Yesterday there was a hockey game, but that's not important right now.

A picture taken by my father of me on a beach in New Zealand.
A picture taken by my father of me on a beach in New Zealand.
Aaron Holm

Last night your Minnesota Wild put up a valiant effort but fell short against the Chicago Blackhawks. That's really not important right now though. Late Wednesday night former Minnesota North Stars workhorse JP Parise died after battling lung cancer over the past year. JP, obviously, was Zach Parise's father. They were close, incredibly close.

Life doesn't always go as one might plan. If it did, there would be no cancer in this world because I cannot fathom anyone would plan for such a thing. JP Parise was more than just a hockey player, mentor and coach. He was first and foremost a father and a husband.

By now you have all very likely read many tributes to the late Parise. You can't round a corner in Minnesota right now without this news hitting you directly in the face. I'm not going there today.

Instead, I would like to honor JP's memory by honoring all of our fathers and mothers, our sons and daughters, and our husbands or wives. The demographic of those that read Hockey Wilderness is vast. Many of you may be fathers or mothers yourselves. Hopefully, not too many of you have lost your father or mother, your sister, or brother.

The family around you are the ones who have shaped the person you've become, and in return, you have helped shape who they have become. We honor these people, because we love and respect them more than anyone in our lives. They are the glue that hold us together when the pressures of everyday life are trying to pull us apart. They are the ones we laugh with when gathering for a family event, and the ones we lean on and cry with in moments of tragedy.

I'll spare you all the story my father bringing me to a Bruins vs. North Stars game at the Met Center during the 1991 World Series. For those of you who have conversed with me in the comments or read one of the numerous posts I've written that detail that particular tale, you're welcome.

Instead We're going to travel to the land of Hobbits!

All the way back in 2005, I was gifted the opportunity to travel to New Zealand with my father and step-mother, for an entire month, starting the day after my birthday. For me, it's not any one memory that sticks out as the "best one" with my father, but rather a continuous string of memories with my father that stick out.

Let me tell you now, totally worth going, but man that flight is a test (from Minnesota at least). We stayed around Aukland the first week, but the rest we used to tour most of the North Island.

Treacherous roads with 80 foot drops, no curbs and no guard rails directly into the ocean. Active volcano's and the town of Rotorua littered with geothermal geysers that wreaked of sulfur. Ocean fishing, saw a shark and a school of dolphins swam next to the boat for a time. Stargazing on a deserted beach in the middle of nowhere. And of course, a solid month of my adult life on an Island in the South Pacific, with my father.

It was absolutely amazing. An entire experience I don't think I would have appreciated as much as a kid as I did as a young man in my mid-twenties. That month of memories was nearly 10 years ago, yet it feels like it was just yesterday. I'm fortunate enough to still have my folks around. News like this always makes me appreciate that fact a little more.

Love the little tribe that surrounds you called family. You could spend a lifetime growing with them but after they're gone, it would still feel like it wasn't enough.

R.I.P Jean-Paul Parise

Hartman: Nanne recalls good times with Parise | Star Tribune
One Minnesota hockey legends take on another.

J.P. Parise, longtime NHL forward, dies at 73 - NHL.com - NHL Insider
Together, J.P. Parise and his son, Wild forward Zach Parise, have bridged two generations of Minnesota hockey fans. J.P. died Wednesday at age 73.

Souhan: J.P. became one of us and had a blast every step of the way | Star Tribune

Wild News

Wild GM Fletcher: 'We're good enough to turn this around' | Star Tribune
Are we now Chuck? I dunno about that ...

Wild's strong effort isn't rewarded against Chicago | Star Tribune
A much better showing from the Wild against the Hawks, yet they are stymied by some great goaltending.

Bickell strikes twice as Chicago overcomes inspired Wild effort that ends in 4-2 loss for Minnesota | State of Hockey News
Derek breaks down last nights emotional loss for the Wild.

NHL Recap - Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com
Bryan Bickell scored twice in the third period, Corey Crawford made a season-high 42 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks held on to beat the heavy-hearted Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Thursday night.

VIDEO: Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook's face sliced by skate - CBSSports.com
Another day, another skate cut injury in the NHL. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook is lucky he can still see after he took a skate blade to the face.

Family loss shows Parise and Suter made the right decision in 2012 | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Well, we knew this was the right choice here in Minnesota since the signing.

Minnesota Wild delay unveiling of unique beer vending machine - KMSP-TV
Wally the Beer Man's worst nightmare gets put on hold.

On Frozen Pond

Female coaches in girls' hockey still scarce, sometimes doubted | MN Girls Hockey Hub
The ladies are pretty damn good at hockey, why aren't their more Women coaching?

St. Thomas Academy steamrolls Mahtomedi to stay perfect | MN Boys Hockey Hub
St. Thomas Academy is proving to be one tough cookie this year.

Off the Trail

Coyotes smack down ‘insider’ reporting Shane Doan trade request | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Excellent!

NHL to use player tracking at 2015 All-Star Game - NHL - SI.com
We'll get our first glimpse of a new technology making it's way to the NHL.

Five NHL head coaches on the hot seat - Sportsnet.ca
You'll never guess who made the list.

Frederik Andersen tributes Teemu in new mask | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Pretty cool design paying tribute to one of the greats of our age.

Old school WWF table-top hockey runs wild on you! (Puck Treasures) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Holy amazing!

RECAPS!!!

NHL Recap - Buffalo Sabres at Carolina Hurricanes - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Florida Panthers at Vancouver Canucks - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings - Jan 08, 2015 - CBSSports.com