Montreal Canadiens: Former Laval Rocket defenceman Tom Parisi retires

LAVAL, QC - FEBRUARY 14: Laval Rocket defenceman Tom Parisi (5) skates with the puck during the Belleville Senators versus the Laval Rocket game on February 14, 2018, at Place Bell in Laval, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - FEBRUARY 14: Laval Rocket defenceman Tom Parisi (5) skates with the puck during the Belleville Senators versus the Laval Rocket game on February 14, 2018, at Place Bell in Laval, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

After failing to be qualified by the Montreal Canadiens, Tom Parisi has chosen to retire at 25 instead of continuing his career in the Elite Hockey League.

The pace of the game has increased over the years, especially in the NHL. It’s gotten to the point now that those who aren’t the best skaters don’t have a long shelf life in the league. The Montreal Canadiens have trended more to this mantra with the likes of Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron on the main club, but that speed could be seen throughout their selections at the 2018 NHL Draft.

That increased pace has brought the retirement age from the high to low 30s. However, sometimes circumstances occur when a player chooses to hang up the skates earlier than usual, and that’s the route former prospect Tom Parisi decided to take.

The Montreal Canadiens signed the defenceman to a two-year contract at the end of his final year at Providence College. Parisi served as team captain that season scoring a goal and 15 assists going on to make his professional debut with the St Johns Ice Caps. The Commack native played another two seasons for the Habs farm team tallying a total of 5 goals and 22 assists in 121 games.

Parisi was never a game-breaker, but he was a complementary piece along the blueline adding some much-needed mobility, especially when it came to defensive zone breakouts. However, he ended up being a healthy scratch for a lot of the final games of the season in favour of amateur tryouts.

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By the RFA deadline, Parisi was one of the five restricted free agents not to be qualified. Things within the Habs organization may have been finished, but there were still other places to play. The destination looked to be the Cardiff Devils of the Elite Ice Hockey League. The decision came a few days ago, and the team looked to be very excited about having his services for the upcoming season. Head coach Andrew Lord had this to say about the signing:

"We expect Parisi to be a force in this league. He is one of the best skaters we have looked at over the last few years and his teammates said he was the fastest guy on their team last season, which is something for a young guy in the AHL."

Unfortunately, it would prove to be a short-lived move as Parisi would choose to retire and leave the team three days later. The team was shocked, and coach Lord brought up from a conversation with Parisi that the last couple of seasons have worn him out. The 25-year-old acknowledging that he shouldn’t have signed without being fully committed said:

"I want to apologise to the Devils Organisation and their fans for doing this, but my heart is not into hockey anymore. It isn’t anything to do with the team or the league or the city, I just want to move on outside of hockey."

Everyone has a different path for how they play out their lives. Although Tom Parisi isn’t part of the Montreal Canadiens system anymore, it’s tough to hear that his heart isn’t in the game anymore. But on a more positive note, hopefully he finds success and good fortunes in what he chooses to do next.

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