He left St. Cloud after two seasons to join the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League for 1997-98, where, serving as team captain, he scored a goal per game with 54 goals in 54 games on his way to a 92 point season to lead the team in scoring. He also played in a single game for the New Haven Beast of the American Hockey League, where he continued his season long goal-per-game pace by scoring a goal in his only game for New Haven!
Aside from two games for New Haven in 1998-99, Parrish spent the entire season with the Florida Panthers of the NHL who had acquired his rights in a trade in March of 1998. He made an immediate splash during his rookie season, scoring two goals within six minutes of each other during his first game on October 9, 1998 in a 4-1 Panthers win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Seven games later, the Panthers travelled to Chicago to face the Blackhawks. After Rob Niedermayer opened the scoring on a power play just 59 seconds into the game, Parrish scored against Chicago's Mark Fitzpatrick one a second power play at 11:03 from Ray Whitney and Gord Murphy. Parrish then scored his second of the game at the 14:28 mark, still in the first period, from Whitney once more.
The Blackhawks opened the second period with Jeff Hackett in goal and scored twice in the period to close the gap to 3-2, still in favor of Florida. In the third period, Niedermayer and Radek Dvorak restored the three goal margin for the Panthers before Doug Zmolek replied for Chicago to make it 5-3 for Florida.
Parrish then completed his hat trick at 17:45 with yet another first assist from Whitney and a second from Dave Gagner. Remarkably, with Florida on the power play to close out the game, Parrish scored again with seven seconds remaining from Gagner and Niedermayer for a four goal game in only his eighth NHL contest on this date in 1998.
Four more times during his rookie season Parrish would have two goal games and finished the season with a total of 24 goals and 37 points. He would play one more season for Florida, increasing his totals to 26 goals and 44 points in 1999-00 until being sent to the New York Islanders, along with Oleg Kvasha in exchange for Olli Jokinen and goaltender Roberto Luongo.
While he only scored 17 goals in his first season with New York, he rebounded in 2001-02 with 30 goals, 30 assists and 60 points - all career highs while improving from a -27 to a +10. Included in his 30 goals were a pair of hat tricks. His fine season was rewarded with an appearance in the 2002 NHL All-Star Game.
Three more consistent seasons with the Islanders would follow, scoring 23, 24 and again 24 goals before a late season trade in 2005-06 would send Parrish to the Los Angeles Kings for the remaining 19 games of the season, where he would add 5 more to bring his season total to 29, just shy of tying his career best.
With his contract now expired, the free agent Parrish signed to play with his hometown Minnesota Wild for the 2006-07 season. He would play two seasons for the Wild, which included being named the team captain on three occasions as a part of the club's monthly rotation.
Unsigned for the 2008-09 season, he would sign with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, but after just three games, he was back in the NHL with the Dallas Stars, making his debut with the club similar to the way he began his career in Florida, recording a hat trick during his Dallas debut on November 7, 2008, the fourth of his career. After scoring 8 goals and 13 points for the Stars after his hot start, Parrish was not resigned by Dallas and once more became a free agent.
Starting the season without an NHL contract, he signed by the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, where he played in 56 games with 17 goals and 51 points before the Admirals parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning brought Parrish back to the NHL for 16 games at the end of the 2009-10 season.
The 2010-11 season was a similar repeat, as he played nearly the entire season with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, where he had a fine season with 51 points in 56 games, which earned him a brief, late season call-up by the Buffalo Sabres, where he would conclude his NHL career with 2 games. His final NHL totals were 216 goals and 171 assists for 387 points.
He was signed with the Ottawa Senators organization for the 2011-12 season and was assigned to their Binghamton Senators farm club, where he scored 15 goals and 30 points in 51 games before announcing his retirement.
Internationally, Parrish played for the United States on six occasions, beginning with the World Junior Championships in both 1996 and 1997, earning a silver medal in 1997 as he contributed 5 goals and 7 points in 6 games. His next tournament for the US came at the 1998 World Championships. He played in two more World Championships in 2001 and 2005, when he scored 5 goals in 6 games. His international career was capped off by appearing in his first Olympics in 2006 in Torino, Italy.
Today's featured jersey is a 2002 NHL All-Star Game Mark Parrish jersey from his all-star appearance during his career season of 2001-02 when he set personal bests in goals, assists, points and hat tricks.
2002 saw a continuation of the World vs. North America format for the NHL All-Star Game which debuted in 1998 to promote the upcoming participation of the NHL stars in the 1998 Olympic Games. This was the first year of this jersey template, with the World wearing dark red and the North Americans in blue. This jersey template would return again in 2003, with the colors adjusted to the North Americans wearing white and the World now donning the blue jerseys.
This all-star jersey has a story to tell, with the patch on the front identifying it as being from the 2002 NHL All-Star Game held in Los Angeles, the patch on the left shoulder signifying Parrish's nationality as being American, while the right shoulder carries a New York Islanders logo indicative of Parrish's NHL club.
One unusual feature of this jersey is the lack of sleeve numbers, but the addition of the player number on the lower left side of the front of the jersey, a style which did not catch on among NHL clubs.
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996-97 St. Cloud State Huskies Mark Parrish jersey. At the time, the Huskies home white jersey was a virtual copy of the classic Montreal Canadiens jersey, only this time with a clever take on the Canadiens iconic "CH" logo by swapping out the "H" for an "ST". This gave the Huskies an instantly familiar appearing logo that says "hockey" at first glance, but rewards the viewer on closer inspection. Additionally, while the jersey pattern is the same, the Huskies employ red, black and white as team colors, allowing them to avoid the criticism of simply copying the NHL club's jersey stitch for stitch.