Where Are They Now? Mark Parrish

Where is that big-bodied forward that played for the Islanders in the early 2000’s?

Where is that forward that used to be part of the "Lucky 7’s" line with Michael Peca and Shawn Bates?

Where is Mark Parrish?

Mark Parrish just finished his 14th professional hockey season in the Ottawa Senators organization, playing for their AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He is still trying to get back to the NHL as he awaits a call from an NHL team this offseason, being that he is an unrestricted free agent. (Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)

Parrish might be forever linked to Oleg Kvasha as one of two players the Islanders got in return when Mike Milbury traded away one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, Roberto Luongo.

Now whether or not that is fair, you can’t blame fans for forgetting just how good Parrish was when he was with the Islanders simply because Luongo is still in the NHL and putting up great numbers.

Parrish played at St. Cloud University for two seasons and was drafted by the Colorado Avalance in the third round after his freshman year. He left St. Cloud after his sophomore season and played in the WHL for the Seattle Thunderbirds where he scored 54 goals and 92 points in 54 games.

In the following season of 1998-1999, Parrish made the jump to the NHL with the Florida Panthers after being traded by Colorado for Tom Fitzgerald, where he tallied 24 goals his rookie season. His second season he upped his goal total to 26 and helped the Panthers reach the playoffs where they were swept by the eventual 1999-2000 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils.

It was after that season where the Islanders traded Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Parrish and Kvasha. (Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)

Parrish quickly became a fan favorite after scoring 30 goals in the 2001-2002 season, and over 20 goals every season after that with the Islanders. In Parrish’s five seasons with the orange and blue, the team made the playoffs three times. He also represented the Islanders at the 2002 All-Star Game and was on the 2006 USA Olympic Hockey team.

It was during that season, 2005-2006, where the Islanders traded Parrish to the Los Angeles Kings with Brent Sopel for Jeff Tambellini and Denis Grebeshkov. Parrish’s time with the Kings was short as he became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and signed a five year $13.25 million contract with the Minnesota Wild, returning to his home state.

That contract lasted only two seasons as the Wild bought out the rest of his contract at the end of the 2007-2008 season. (Photo Credit: Mikecny/Flickr)

After waiting to get a call from an NHL team, Parrish signed with the Islanders top affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on a 25-game tryout basis.  After three games Parrish was signed by the Dallas Stars for the rest of the season. The next few years saw Parrish play between the AHL and NHL with multiple teams.

Like what was previously stated, Parrish is still awaiting a contract for this upcoming season and there are no signs of him hanging up his skates. So expect to see him either playing in the NHL or AHL in 2013, most likely the AHL.

My take:

Mark Parrish was one of the best and most consistent players on the playoff Islanders teams during the early 2000’s.  As a fan, you loved him for his hard work and the way he scored, standing in front of the net deflecting pucks past the goaltender. In his prime, Parrish was the best forward in the NHL in front of the net.

As an Islanders forward Parrish was great, but unfortunately he could never find the same success he had while on Long Island anywhere else.

Thanks for the memories Mark and good luck with the rest of your career.

-Pete Paguaga
Follow @Pete_Paguaga
Follow @TCLIsles

2 Comments

Rob McGowan's picture

That Lucky 7's line was always fun to watch that year. It was the perfect combo of speed, grit and goal scoring. Parrish though ended up being way too streaky of a scorer. He'd either be on fire or invisible on the ice...and the "new NHL" definitely took a lot of his touch away from his play. I always liked him though. He scored a hat trick on stick night against the Mighty Ducks and after that game I was hooked as an Islanders fan, so he's always going to be someone that I will remember.

Rob McGowan's picture

And you're right...there was hardly anyone who even came close to his ability to always deflect a puck in front of th net. The guy could be getting pushed face first into the ice and he would still redirect it. It was unbelievable.