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Devils players eager for Parise return

Wednesday, 03.2.2011 / 11:29 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils players eager for Parise return
Now that Zach Parise has finally been cleared to skate again, his Devils teammates can't wait to have him back in the lineup.

On Wednesday, Parise got the OK from doctors to begin light skating on his own for a minimum of two to three weeks.

The Devils' leading goal scorer in each of the last four seasons, Parise has been out of action since Oct. 30. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus and has missed 51 games.

"He’s a huge part of our game, and he’s one of our leaders," Ilya Kovalchuk said. "We miss him a lot and I can’t imagine how good we’re going to be if he comes back. He can do everything. He’s one of the guys who’s been here for a long time and I’m sure fans will be excited to see him back. We’re all going to be excited; he’s going to give us a lot of jump, that’s for sure."

Martin Brodeur has an idea of what Parise is going through. Brodeur missed 50 games in 2008-09 because of a left elbow injury that required surgery.

"I've been there with a long injury and when you get the OK to go back on the ice it's like Christmas, Brodeur said. "It's so much fun. I'm sure he's ecstatic about it. Hopefully we'll give him a chance to get himself ready to play for us this year."