Zach Parise went to his parents' home in Prior Lake on Wednesday morning to pick up his puppy, a little pug named Boca.

J.P. and Donna Parise watched Boca while Zach traveled to Toronto this week to discuss his free-agency options with his agents. Zach told his parents early Wednesday that his signing with the hometown Wild was a "strong possibility."

"I've been in hockey so long that I know until things are signed, it's never a done deal," J.P. said.

Confirmation came a few hours later, causing the Parises' home phone to go berserk, 30 calls in the first hour from elated relatives and friends. Their son signed a 13-year, $98 million contract, a landmark decision that brought the family's hockey ties to the Twin Cities full circle.

"I'm a father, and I'm just happy for my son," J.P. said.

J.P. played nine seasons for the Minnesota North Stars and became a two-time All-Star. He later served as an assistant coach for the North Stars and director of hockey at Shattuck- St. Mary's in Faribault.

Zach was born here, raised here and makes his offseason home in Orono. He will wear the same jersey number -- 11 -- that his dad wore as a member of the North Stars.