What do you like to do during the offseason? Do you travel to foreign countries?
Hiroko Kobe, Japan
Zach Parise: I do a lot of golfing... not much traveling. Obviously, I do a lot of traveling during the season. I'm going to Mexico this summer, then maybe a fishing trip here and there.
What do you think of this year's schedule?
Jake Fair Lawn, N.J.
ZP: I like the new schedule. We play every team at least once, and it's always fun making those western trips. The league cut down on divisional games, which I like. I'd rather have the chance to play every team.
How do you relax and calm down after an exciting game? Is there a certain song or TV show or activity that helps you unwind?
Anne Marie and Angela Branchburg, N.J.
ZP: I always have a tough time sleeping after games, I guess because of all the excitement of playing. There's nothing in particular that I do... A lot of times I'll read a book, but there's no one thing that I'd say I do every time. I've been reading a lot of James Patterson, and went through quite a few of his novels last year.
What kind of music do you have on your iPod?
Tif Catasauqua, Penn.
ZP: I have just about everything on my iPod. I don't think there's any kind of music I don't have. I like country, rock, rap... a little techno. I usually make a playlist to listen to before games. The songs I pick depend on how things have been going. Sometimes I get into a rhythm of listening to the same playlist before games, but it varies depending on the mood I'm in that day.
What have been the biggest differences you've experienced between playing Division I hockey at North Dakota and the NHL?
Russ Santa Cruz, Calif.
ZP: The number of games, obviously, and the travel's a lot different. In college you play Friday and Saturday and have the whole week off from games. Then it's just practices... you practice a lot. Meanwhile, in between all that, you're going to class. It's a completely different game. College is more wide-open, with more scoring chances. NHL games are much faster, and there aren't as many mistakes. Plus, NHL players are better positionally. When you watch on TV, it's tough to tell but you get down to ice level and you realize how fast it is. There isn't much time out there to make a decision.
Do you still follow the University of North Dakota hockey program?
Monty North Dakota
ZP: All the time. Once in a while I'll catch a game on TV and when the NCAA playoffs start, more of the games are televised. I check scores online all the time to see how they're doing.
What is the funniest locker room prank you have ever seen or been a part of?
Brad New Jersey
ZP: This year Mike Rupp stole Brian Gionta's car keys and put a six-foot mannequin in Gio's brand-new car. I don't know where he got it, but he took this mannequin, put a towel around its waist and jammed it in Gio's car. Also, for about two weeks this season, I found my shoe laces completely knotted after every practice. One day, I finally decided to wear slip-on shoes, and came back to find they'd been taped together with what seemed like six rolls of tape.
What would you be doing if you couldn't play hockey professionally?
ST Teaneck, N.J.
ZP: I've been asked this before, but it's tough to say. I think I might have tried coaching at the college level.
When you have time during the season, what are some of the things you like to do, and are there any players you hang out with a lot?
Ashley Toms River, N.J.
ZP: During the season, we'll go into New York City sometimes. I usually hang out with Andy Greene, Paul Martin and Travis Zajac.
How do you keep the balance between your normal life and your hockey life?
Jill Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
ZP: It can be tough to separate hockey from my life away from the rink. I take games pretty seriously, and I take losses pretty hard. If I'm not playing well, I guess I'm not the best person to be around. The most important thing is to forget about a game once it's done – whether it was a good game or a bad game – and start focusing on the next one. Sometimes that can be a challenge.