Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter spent a portion of Monday working on ways to improve a power play that was ranked 27th in the NHL last season.
They had the help of Adam Oates, who was Parise's assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils from 2010-12. Oates, a Hall of Fame center who had 1,420 points in 1,337 games, watched the Wild's informal practice in Edina, Minn., and afterward worked privately with Parise and Suter for more than an hour.
"Everything he says just makes sense," Parise told the Star Tribune. "I've known him since I've played for him in New Jersey and we've kept in touch and he watches our games and our power plays, so we communicate during the season. He's probably the smartest hockey guy that I've ever been around."
Oates, who was a co-coach for the Devils last season, worked with Parise and Suter on one-timers, plays around the net and entries.
"[Oates] did wonders working with our D in Jersey, and Ryan knows that he can improve getting the puck up at the top and hammering it and shooting it and getting those one-timers on the power play," Parise said. "For me, I need to work on one-timers from out further and try to get some shots on goal from outside.
"The biggest thing about [Oates] when I played for him is he always broadened my game beyond just being around the net."