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J.P. Parise passes away at 73

Jim McKenny (18) Leafs; J.P. Parise (11) North Stars

Jim McKenny (18) Leafs; J.P. Parise (11) North Stars

Toronto Star via Getty Images

J.P. Parise, a two-time NHL All-Star and father of Minnesota Wild alternate captain Zach Parise, died on Wednesday night following a battle with lung cancer.

Originally signed by Boston, Parise spent two seasons with the Bruins before moving to Toronto, then Minnesota -- and it was with the North Stars where he made his biggest impact, representing the club at the 1970 and ’73 ASGs while also earning a spot on Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series, playing on a line with Phil Esposito.

Parise finished his career with stints on Long Island and Cleveland before moving onto coaching within the Minnesota organization. Following his time with the Stars, Parise then moved on to become 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.

More, from the Star-Tribune:

Zach Parise, who signed a 13-year contract with the Wild in 2012, found out his father had lung cancer when he returned from captaining the 2014 U.S. Olympic hockey team in Sochi, Russia, in February.

J.P. Parise had gone to a doctor because of kidney stones that winter when his cancer was diagnosed. A heavy smoker before quitting in 1973, he survived prostate cancer in 1999.

“I’m 72 years old,” J.P. Parise told the Star Tribune in September. “The average life here is what, 75, 76, 77? I might end up in the middle of things,” he said, laughing. “That’s life. If someone was to tell you today that you’re going to be going at 77, 78, you’d say, ‘Boy, that’s not bad.’

“I never think of this shortening my life, this shortening anything I’m going to do. I’m still going to travel, I’m still going to watch hockey.”

Earlier this week, the Star-Tribune reported that Parise had stopped chemotherapy treatments. Zach then missed Tuesday’s game against San Jose to be with his father.

Update: A statement from the Parise family, courtesy the Wild...

After a brave battle with lung cancer, J.P. Parise passed away peacefully at home Wednesday night with his family by his side. We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from family, friends and the entire hockey community during this difficult time. J.P. was a great husband, father and grandpa and will be greatly missed by all of us.

And here’s the statement from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman...

The National Hockey League family mourns the passing and cherishes the memory of J.P. Parise. Especially in his adopted home state of Minnesota, J.P. was a consummate player, teacher and administrator in the game. The Parise name has been prominent in Minnesota hockey since the 1960s, and J.P.'s commitment and passion for the NHL lives on through his son, Zach. The NHL sends heartfelt condolences to J.P.'s family, to his friends, to the Minnesota Wild organization and to all the organizations J.P. represented with such passion.