The Ottawa Senators announced on Friday that they've signed veteran right winger Mark Parrish to a one-year, two-way contract. Dollars haven't come out yet, but we'll post them here when they're available.
Parrish is likely most well remembered for his breakout 30-goal season in 2001-02 with the New York Islanders, but he's spent most of the last couple seasons playing in the AHL. Still, his career NHL numbers are more than respectable: 722GP, 216G, 171A, and 387P.
To be honest, I haven't followed Parrish's career closely, so I can't really speak to why his role has diminished to the point where he seems to have become a minor-leaguer, but injuries have played a role. In an interview with MSG last season after signing a two-way deal with the Buffalo Sabres, Parrish had some pretty insightful comments on the tough situation veterans can find themselves in under the new CBA:
"It’s just kind of been a battle since then to find a niche, find a hole, find a spot on a team where they’re not all set," Parrish said. "Nowadays with the CBA, the teams have to be smart, they have to build from within. That’s just the way it goes, and if you’re not plugged in with one of those organizations and all of a sudden you’re an older guy on the outside, it’s tough to get plugged back in."
Parrish also said that injuries and a late-summer buyout by the Minnesota Wild set him back, but he's recently been working on his speed and conditioning. He classifies himself as a powerplay specialist.
The deal is really a no-lose one for the Senators. If Parrish can really turn heads and show he's still got the speed and timing to be a top-six player in the NHL, then maybe he gets a spot on the Ottawa squad. If not, he joins the Binghamton Senators to help fill the leadership void left by the departure of Ryan Keller and offers some great scoring depth to the squad.