P.A. Parenteau (pair-ehn-TOH) signed a four-year contract with the Avalanche on July 1, 2012. Parenteau, 29, recorded 67 points (18g/49a) and 89 penalty minutes in 80 games with the New York Islanders last season. He finished third on the Islanders in points, while ranking second in both assists and penalty minutes. The right winger was fifth in goals and third in power-play goals (6). Parenteau’s 67 points were a career high. Selected by Anaheim in the ninth round (264th overall) of the 2001 Entry Draft, Parenteau began his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2006-07 (five games). He dressed in 22 games for the New York Rangers in 2009-10 before signing as a free agent with the Islanders in 2010. He recently sat down with coloradoavalanche.com during training camp.
Q: What did you do in the offseason?
A: I did a lot of stuff. I bought a house, worked out, played some hockey, but mostly golfed. Golf is another passion of mine. But besides that, I took it easy.
Q: You had a breakout year in the league in 2010-11 and an even better year last year in 2011-12 gathering 67 points (18g/49a). How do you look to continue that success with the Avs?
A: I think we have a great team defensively here. I’m looking at all these guys and I think we have three solid offensive lines. But I just want to do more of the same by competing hard, making some plays, and that is what I have been doing my whole career and hopefully I can duplicate that this year.
Q: You played on a line with John Tavares, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, last year. Matt Duchene was the third overall pick in the same draft. You have played on a line with Duchene through the first couple of practices. Can you describe any similarities or differences between these two players?
A: Well, they are different players. I think Dutchy (Matt Duchene) brings a lot more speed to the game than Tavares and I think Johnny [Tavares] is a little stronger on his skates. That is the biggest difference but obviously they are both elite talents to me and I am looking forward for the chance to play with Duchene and Landy (Gabriel Landeskog) too, which is another elite talent.
Q: How will it be different playing this year in the Western Conference?
A: I have played a few games against Western Conference teams last season but not that many. I have heard there is a little difference. Bigger guys and maybe a little more toughness but I was playing in a pretty tough division with Pittsburgh, Philly, New Jersey and the Rangers so I am not expecting that big of a difference.
Q: How do you prepare differently for a shortened season?
A: I don’t think we can really. We have a couple of days ahead of us here and we have to try and get in game shape as soon as possible, as soon as we can. It is a 48-game season and no one in this locker room has ever played that. It is going to be new for mostly everyone around the league, as well. I think everyone is in the same boat. You have to take care of your body and self since you play just about every other day. I think that is the main difference for me.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: I always liked Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux, two righties who I was always looking up to my entire career. When I was a young teenager, they were both the best in the league so those were probably the two I grew up watching the most.
Q: How long have you been in Denver for? What do you like about it so far?
A: Just about a week. It is a great city. I have been spending some time downtown. I went to the Broncos game the other day. It was freezing but it was fun. I think Denver is a great city, it’s clean and the people are really nice. I am looking forward to spending a lot of years here.
Q: Are you used to the altitude yet?
A: Yes I think so. The first few days I had a tough time with it, headaches and feeling light-headed, but I am used to it I think. On the ice, I feel pretty good as well.
Q: Besides golf, what else do you enjoy doing with your free time?
A: I like eating out and going to nice restaurants with my girl or my buddies. It is something I enjoy doing. I like to hang out with my brother and play a lot of golf. I have a place on the ocean in New Brunswick, so I like hanging out there and going to the beach.
Q: What is training camp going to be like in terms of building chemistry with the team and learning the systems of Coach Sacco?
A: Well I went to dinner with the boys already a few times. I know Jiggy [J.S. Giguere] from the past and Shane O’Brien so it is so far so good. The guys are really nice. We have a great group of guys and I think we have to translate that to the ice now. The coaches are doing a pretty good job of making sure we do some line drills and we practice together. I am looking forward to the game Saturday.
Q: How has your first couple official practices been with the Avs so far?
A: Really good. Monday was a little harder. A little tighter on my hips and groin, but we’re so excited to be back so it’s not hard. We had so much fun on the ice and we want to be ready to go Saturday, so I think that helps a lot.