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The Hockey community lost another favorited son from the past and he was probably one of my most favorited North Stars of all time.   JP passed away yesterday at the age of 73 suffering from stage 4 lung cancer.  


Jean-Paul Joseph-Louis "Jeep" Parisé isn’t the player whom is known for his offensive stats, although he did score some timely goals with his linemates Jude Druin and Bill Goldsworthy.  Instead Parise was a gritty little winger who outdueled his opponents digging out pucks in the corners. In six seasons and parts of two others with the North Stars,  Parise was named twice to the all star game and scored 27 goals and 75 points in the 72 -73 season.  After his retirement Parise served as a coach in the North Stars organization,  and later became the head coach and hockey director for the famed Shattuck-Saint Mary’s high school program, which produced the likes of his son Zach, Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews.

Parise was probably best known though for his role in the 1972 Summit Series where he almost beheaded an unpopular referee.  He was chosen to the Canadian National team to play on a line to dig out pucks for Wayne Cashman and Phil Esposito.  During game 7 Parise was called for a questionable interference penalty in which he vehemently argued, after being given the 10 minute misconduct penalty, Parise approached the referee with his stick up at shoulder height and made a swing en route to decapitate the unpopular Kompalla.  Parise in complete control stopped just inches shy of contact.  Although Parise was ejected from the game, there were no more questionable calls made against Team Canada that series.
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I just turned 50, so my memories of Parise as a player are few, but two stnad out.

 In the Summitt series when the refs were calling everything known to man on Canada, the mild mannered Parise lifted his stick as if he were going to use it as a hatchet for a wretched call. Interviews I watched over the years, his teammates still looked absolutely incredulous that Parise did that. Just so out of character. This is all memory after the fact but I feel like I lived it. I even remember watching Parise sheepishly, almost apologetically explain his actions and how they were so out of character.


  Another memory I have is hockey came to Cleveland when i was ten or eleven years old, the Seals moved, just a bad team. I remember distinctly reading the local paper when Parise was traded to the Barons, for days they talked about how ththe Barons had landed a true superstar who would turn around the team on the ice and in the stands. 40 games later, Parise was gone and so were the Barons, defunct, the players sold to the north Stars.


  In The Code, (one of the best hockey books ever if you ever get a chance to read it) Parise talks about floating down his wing and looking up, Terry O'Reilly had him lined up, Parise just knew he was going to get crushed. At the last second O'Reilly pullled up and simply skated by Parise, telling Parise to be careful out there someone might run him. That is how much respect his fellow players had for him, even the fearless give no quarter O'Reilly didnt pile drive him, admonishing him to be careful instead. Parise, in the book stated that is when he knew it was time to hang them up.


 Rest In Peace Jean-Paul.

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  My childhood is littered with memories of pouring over JP's hockey cards. Always remembered with that A on his sweater. Really odd to see guys from that era starting to pass....guess it just comes with getting older. He was one of the good guys, respected league wide, RIP JP.

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