Terry Parisien wishes his old team the best of luck. But now that the sentimentality is out of the way . . .
“I’m going to show them they made a real bad decision,” said the 20-year-old defenceman for the Dryden Ice Dogs, who returned to the Ice for Kids Arena last night for the first time since being traded Oct. 2 by the Borderland Thunder for forward Rob Scales and defenceman Mark Morin.
The Keewatin native had one assist in two games with the Thunder this season after collecting 10 goals and 13 assists in 45 games with the team last year.
But 11 days before being officially traded, Parisien was part of the eventually aborted deal also involving Thunder forward Justin Bodnarchuk to the Feathermen Hawks in exchange for forward Brent Greene.
The circumstances surrounding the initial trade didn’t sit well with Parisien from the start.
“I thought it was the stupidest trade ever,” he said. “They knew the Hawks were supposed to be an all-native team [by agreement with the Superior International Junior Hockey League] and they send Justin [a non-native] there.
“What were they thinking?”
Parisien, who has a goal and five assists in 13 games with the Ice Dogs going into last night’s game here, also was unhappy with how he found out about the original trade to Nipigon, saying the first notice he got was by phone from former teammate James Raymond after the club’s second regular-season game of the year against the Hawks.
“Justin and I were told by [Thunder head coach] Dave Allison before the season that he wasn’t holding anything against us from last year. Then after two games, bang, we’re gone.
“The whole town knew I was traded before I was.
“I was happy to be back in the Thunder jersey. I was pretty upset with being dealt, what with my girlfriend being down here,” Parisien added.
“It’s hard when [Allison] says to treat each other like adults, and then this happens.”
For Allison’s part, the Thunder bench boss maintained that since he wasn’t around last season, anything that happened on or off the ice involving Parisien and Bodnarchuk was none of his concern.
“There’s no perfect way of doing things,” he said. “Again, it wasn’t that we didn’t like Terry and Justin or that we didn’t think they were good players. We just saw it as a chance to get an all-star forward [Greene].
“People are always disappointed when they get traded. But it doesn’t change the respect we have for Terry,” Allison stressed.
Parisien, who said he’s averaged 35-45 minutes per game since joining the Ice Dogs, adjusted quickly to his new surroundings, and feels his game has prospered since being handed a significant leadership role by Dryden head coach Wayne Labrie.
“They want me to keep a good attitude towards everything so the rookies on the team can look up to me and learn from me,” said Parisien, who admitted he had a subpar game against the Thunder in a 3-0 loss Oct. 30 in Dryden that later was wiped out by forfeit.
“The past couple of games, I’ve made some dumb decisions, like trying to get the puck to the red line instead of just getting it out of our zone first.
“But the coaches see potential in me. They want me to bear down on the power play and be more aggressive,” Parisien said.
“They want to see what the real Terry can do. Hopefully, starting with [last night], I’ll start moving up to where they want me to be,” he added.