UNO all-time leading scorer Scott Parse surprised Maverick hockey fans this week (and probably the brass of the Los Angeles Kings as well) when he signed an amateur tryout contract with the Grand Rapids (MI) Griffins, the AHL affiliate of his beloved Detroit Red Wings. Interesting move from Parse, who last summer said that the Kings "didn't want me." Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall showed some inpatience with Parse last week, complaining that Parse was playing hardball with them. The Kings look like they aren't going to be able to sign Parse. Since Parse could have signed a tryout deal with any AHL club, one has to wonder if there was any interest in Omaha's AHL team. Certainly, they need all the help they can get.
Looks to me like Parse is schooling the Kings, much like he schooled much of college hockey the last 4 years. In his first AHL game, Parse scored in a shootout and also tallied an assist to break the Griffins' 6 game losing streak. Parse will likely become a free agent in August; look for Parse to remain unsigned until then. Right now, I'd give the Detroit Red Wings the lead in the Parse derby, though many Mav fans would love to see Parse reunite with Bill Thomas. BLT's contract with the Coyotes expires at the end of the season, though. Maybe UNO will have a couple of free agents getting attention from the NHL this summer...
Former UNO door-opener (and executive producer of the Mike Kemp Show) SAM is compiling a list of the greatest players and moments in the first 10 years of UNO hockey. Voting continues through April 5th, but here's my ballot:
Best Forward: Scott Parse (duh), Jeff Hoggan, Alex Nikiforuk, David Brisson, Jeff Edwards, Bryan Marshall, Billy Pugliese, Bill Thomas, Allan Carr, James Chalmers
Best Defensemen: Greg Zanon, Jason Krischuk, Daniel Samuelsson, Juha Uotila, Mike Eickman
Best Goaltender: Dan Ellis, Chris Holt, Kendall Sidoruk
Best Moment: Tuesday Night over Bowling Green, St. Patrick's Day Massacre of Michigoon, Mavs in NCAA Tournament, Billy Pugliese's series winner in double OT to send UNO back to the Joe in 2000, Scott Parse's series winner in OT against Lake State to send UNO to the Joe in 2005.
Best Games: Tuesday Night, UNO defeats Ohio State with Pugliese's double OT goal to return to the Joe, St. Patrick's Day Massacre, UNO follows up 11-0 drubbing by beating #1 Maine 4-3 in year #2 of the program, Mavs Rout Lakers 8-0 in 2006.