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Im-PARSE-Able Odds

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Scott Parse scored his first NHL goal against the Canucks on Nov. 29. After not playing a single preseason game, it was not exactly lightly that this would have happened in a Kings uniform.
If there really was only one chance to make a first impression, Scott Parse wouldn’t be in the NHL right now.

Fortunately for Parse, the cliche doesn’t always work.

Parse got a first look with the Kings last year, although not much of one, because Kings coaches and management apparently didn’t see anything worth looking at for very long.

The second chance?

Parse has grabbed it with both hands, and doesn’t seem prepared to let go. Called up last week, after a strong start in the AHL, Parse has finally made an impression, and has the look of a player who could stay with the Kings for a long time.

At age 25, on the older end of the "prospect" scale, Parse seems to have figured things out on the ice. Something clicked, although nobody seems to know quite what it is.

"I’m scared to ask," general manager Dean Lombardi joked. "Just keep it going, kid."

Kings head coach Terry Murray said, "He’s surprising the heck out of me."

Called up to replace Justin Williams last week, Parse has played in five games and has one goal, two assists and a plus-1 rating. Parse played 12 minutes, 26 seconds, in the Kings’ comeback victory over Phoenix on Monday, and Murray had enough confidence to give Parse six shifts in a tight third period with veterans Dustin Brown and Jarret Stoll.

Parse’s strong play was a contributing factor in both Trevor Lewis’ demotion to Manchester and winger Teddy Purcell’s demotion to the fourth line. Not bad for a player so unimpressive that he didn’t even get into an exhibition game this September.

"I know I'm not that young anymore, and when I get a shot, I've got to make the most of it," Parse said. "I'm just trying to do that here."

Parse’s past week has been the latest, and by far the biggest, high of his up-and-down hockey career, which got going at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. (Dean's List of College Players)

Parse left the school, after four seasons, as its all-time leading scorer, with 197 points in 159 games, and signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Kings after his senior year ended. Parse had been drafted by the Kings in the sixth round after his freshman season.

Shortly before the start of training camp in 2007, which would have been Parse’s first camp, he seriously injured his back while lifting weights and had two herniated discs.

Parse returned to the ice in Jan. 2008 but had little spark, as he split time between Manchester and Reading of the ECHL and totaled just 19 points in 32 games.

Continue to part II

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