Scott Parse can’t wait to wrap his arms around the Stanley Cup again.
The former University of Nebraska at Omaha hockey player, who has been on the Los Angeles Kings’ roster the past three years, hoisted the trophy after his team defeated New Jersey in the NHL finals earlier this month. It’s heavier than you’d think, he said.
“You play your whole life and you think about winning the Stanley Cup,” he said. “I got a chance to hold it, in my uniform. It was just a special feeling.”
Parse has played just 14 games the past two seasons because of surgeries on both hips. But the 5-foot-11 left winger and some of his teammates watching from the stands climbed into their equipment and joined the celebration.
It lasted for another week as the Kings showed off the trophy in bars and restaurants across California.
“We went to the beach one day with it,” he said.
There could be plenty of adventures ahead when the Stanley Cup starts traveling from teammate to teammate.
Parse isn’t sure when it will be his turn, but he’s making some plans.
“I would take it back home to where I grew up in Portage, Michigan,” he said.
Parse is spending the summer in Los Angeles working out. He’s recovered from his latest surgery to clean up some wear and tear on his hip, and is working to build up the muscles in the area. He said the sockets in both hips aren’t formed well, which has worn down the cartilage.
He started practicing with the team at the end of the regular season and through the first two rounds of the playoffs. But his hip became sore, so he was shut down for the rest of the season.
“I feel real good now,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get a shot next year to play.”
After five years in the pros, the first two in Manchester, N.H., Parse will become a free agent July 1. He’s not sure what will happen with the Kings, but he’s hoping the fact that he signed a two-year pact with them two years ago means they had big plans for him before he was hurt. He had 11 goals and 13 assists in 59 games in his first season but just three goals the past two.
He’s loved living on the West Coast, where he’s been joined by girlfriend, former UNO soccer player Whitney Frantzen. The weather is great, and he lives just a few blocks from the beach, where they spend a lot of their time.
“It doesn’t get much better than that,” he said.
Parse, 27, went on injured reserve in November and spent part of the time after surgery recovering at his parents’ house in Michigan. He didn’t travel with the team in the regular season, and caught road games on TV. But he didn’t miss a minute in the playoffs.
“It was fun just to be part of it, even though I didn’t play,” he said. “Just to see everything that went on is something that might never happen again. I’m also really happy for all the guys on the team.”
His doctor said Parse has many more years of competition ahead of him. He just hopes the next time he’s part of a Stanley Cup celebration, he’ll be an active part of the team.
Still, after the Kings won, it was neat to hear from former coach Mike Kemp and many of his teammates at UNO, where he was the CCHA player of the year as a junior and a two-time All-American before turning pro in 2007.
“They were the best four years of my life,” Parse said. “I still talk to a lot of the guys I played with, and they are still a lot of my good friends.”
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