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Islanders' Zach Parise prepared for emotional return to Minnesota on Sunday

The Blue Jackets' Adam Boqvist, left, and the

The Blue Jackets' Adam Boqvist, left, and the Islanders' Zach Parise chase the puck during the first period of an NHL game on Oct. 21 in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: AP/Jay LaPrete

MONTREAL – Two games in two other cities separate Zach Parise from what he anticipates will be an emotional return to Minnesota.

But the Islanders' left wing, speaking on a teleconference on Wednesday that included nearly as many members of the Minnesota media as the local contingent, quickly shot down any notion he harbored ill will toward the Wild for buying out the final four seasons of his 13-year, $98 million deal on July 13.

"I’ve moved on," Parise said after practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. "It’s been a long time. I love where I’m at."

The Islanders (3-2-2) resume their season-opening, 13-game road trip against the Canadiens on Thursday night at Bell Centre and also play at Winnipeg on Saturday night before facing the Wild on Sunday night. They extended their point streak to 3-0-2 with Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss at Nashville.

The 37-year-old Parise, who signed a one-year, $750,000 deal, is still looking for his first point with the Islanders. He said returning to Minnesota is not likely to be similar to coming back to New Jersey after leaving the Devils following their 2012 run to the Stanley Cup Final to accept a mega-contract to play in his hometown.

"Jersey, I left on my own," Parise said. "Here, I didn’t leave on my own. So, it’s a little different situation."

With the Wild, and because of his contract, Parise was expected to be one of the Wild’s leading offensive producers. He has a different role with the Islanders, working with third-line center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and ever-improving sharpshooter Oliver Wahlstrom while still providing a net-front presence on the power play.

Coach Barry Trotz, who has gone through emotional returns to his previous coaching stops in Nashville and Washington over the course of his career, understands the challenge Parise is facing in coming to a new team.

"He fits in with the group really easy," Trotz said. "I think it takes them a while to fit in. They fit in with the group. But for them to feel comfortable about where they’re living, this place versus something else. Just everything, they want to do really well and they put extra pressure on themselves.

"Honestly, from all my years in the league, I probably say it takes a quarter to a half a year before they feel totally [comfortable]. Zach has been a Minnesota Wild for so long, it takes him a quarter year, a half a year to feel like he’s a New York Islander. I was in Nashville for a long time. It took me 20 to 40 games before I felt like, ‘I’m a Washington Capital.’ The same thing with the Islanders."

Notes & quotes: Goalie Ilya Sorokin is expected to start his eighth straight game…Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme listed Jonathan Drouin as day to day and said he could play Thursday after avoiding a concussion being struck in the head by a puck on Tuesday as the Canadiens (3-8-0) beat the Red Wings, 3-0.

New York Sports