Nobody needs to tell Scott Parse how important this training camp is for him. Parse, 27, is in the final year of his contract and, for a second consecutive season, has been penciled into the lineup in a key role. Last year, Parse entered camp as the de facto second-line left winger, but played only five games before he was sidelined by season-ending hip surgery. Publicly and privately, the Kings have expressed some concern about Parse’s long-term ability to stay healthy, which is a big reason why veterans such as Ethan Moreau and Trent Hunter will be getting long looks during training camp.
For now, Parse said he feels 100-percent healthy and is playing right wing on the third line, alongside center Jarret Stoll and left winger Kyle Clifford. Parse has 12 goals in 64 career NHL games, so his potential is clear, but can he stay on the ice? Here’s what Parse said today about his camp, so far, and his recovery.
PARSE: “It’s good. It’s good to be back out here and it’s getting better every day.”
Question: And everything is good with the hip?
PARSE: “The hip is good, 100 percent and ready to go, ready to get playing again. It’s good.”
Question: What was that like last season? There had to be a lot of frustration, when you decided to have the surgery…
PARSE: “I just couldn’t skate anymore, and everyone knew. I was going to need the surgery, at the end of last year or during the year or whenever. It wasn’t any good, so I had to get it done.”
Question: You started skating near the end of last season. Was there a time when it really started to feel better?
PARSE: “It’s just been getting better, and I feel absolutely fine, 100 percent on the ice.”
Question: Do you feel like this is an important training camp for you?
PARSE: “Yes, absolutely. I’ve got to show what I can do. I’m confident going in here, so I’m just going to play my game and I’m looking forward to it.”
Question: Have they talked to you about your role, what they expect?
PARSE: “Not really, but I know what I have to do. I’ve been here for a couple years, so I know what he [Terry Murray] expects and I’ve just got to go out there and play.”
Question: That line, with you and Stoll and Clifford, seems like it can be a line with some scoring and some defense as well…
PARSE: “Yeah. I think we’re playing pretty well out here so far. I played with Stolly my first year, and we had some good games there, so I’m looking forward to it.”