Tom Parisi quits Cardiff Devils as defenceman turns back on ice hockey

Tom Parisi was present at Devils’ pre-season game with Nottingham on Sunday, meeting captain Jake Morissette
Tom Parisi was present at Devils’ pre-season game with Nottingham on Sunday, meeting captain Jake Morissette

New signing Tom Parisi has quit Cardiff Devils just three days after arriving at the Elite League club.

The 25-year-old defenceman was expected to play for Devils this season while studying for an MBA at Cardiff Met.

But the New Yorker told Devils coach Andrew Lord that he is retiring to pursue a career outside of ice hockey.

"I want to apologise to the Devils organisation and their fans for doing this, but my heart is not into hockey anymore," Parisi said.

"It isn't anything to do with the team or the league or the city, I just want to move on outside of hockey.

"I should not have signed with the Devils without being 100% committed to the team, so I am sorry and I wish them well for the season."

Parisi turned professional in 2016 with National Hockey League side Montreal Canadiens and latterly played in the American Hockey League for St. John's IceCaps and Laval Rockets.

Devils coach Andrew Lord said he was surprised by the departure of Parisi: "I am shocked, that is the only way to describe this.

"He just arrived on Sunday and he seemed like he was really looking forward to getting things going and a fresh start after a couple difficult seasons in the AHL, where he didn't enjoy the game all that much.

"I was really looking forward to the opportunity to get him excited about hockey again.

"He asked to speak to me Wednesday afternoon and told me that he just didn't want to play hockey anymore and that the last couple of years have worn him out."

Devils have two pre-season games against HK Poprad this weekend, followed by two more warm-up games with Coventry Blaze before starting their Champions Hockey League campaign at home to Red Bull Salzburg on 30 August.

"I'm still really happy with the recruitment and our overall team and I believe we are in good shape going forward," Lord added.