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Zach Parise expecting boos in Thursday return to New Jersey

Zach Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Wild weeks before his 28th birthday in 2012. (Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images) Zach Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Wild weeks before his 28th birthday in 2012. (Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images)

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise said he's expecting boos from the crowd on Thursday for his return to New Jersey to face a Devils team he helped take to the Stanley Cup in 2012.

Parise told NorthJersey.com that boos are expected, but it would be another thing if the fans at the Devils' Prudential Center simply didn't show any sign of emotion to their former captain:

"I’m expecting it. It’s fine. They’re passionate about their team and it’s understandable. I guess if they wouldn’t even care to acknowledge that I was back, that would be a little different.”

Parise, who turns 30 this summer, left the Devils after their loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago, signing with the Wild for one of the biggest deals in league history -- a 13-year, $98 million contract, dwarfing the one-year, $6 million deal he signed in 2011 with the Devils team that had drafted him in 2003.

The Wild are currently fourth in the Central Division while the Devils are sixth in the Metropolitan Division.

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