There's time where being in the minors is a bad thing and something you wish could come back from. Yet, for this week's AGM, being in the minors allowed him to find a place where he would call home after his playing career, as well as help out the locals in the process. This week, we look at the career of Dave Parro.
Parro started his career back in the 1973-74 season, where he would play the first of two seasons with the Saskatchewan Junior League's Saskatoon Olympics. After 64 games with the Olympics; Parro moved onto the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Canada Junior League, starting with one win in his only appearances in the 1974-75 campaign. For the 1975-76 season, Parro played 36 games behind Randy Ireland, going 28-6-2 in those games, then going 1-3-1 in nine playoff games, as the Blades would lose in the final. Parro took over the starting role in the 1976-77 season for the Blades, going 28-26-12 in 69 games, then 2-4 in six playoff games. Parro was named to the WCJHL Second Team All-Star squad.
Parro did get the eye of both the NHL and WHA, as he was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the NHL Draft, then being picked by the Houston Aeros in the 10th round of the WHA Draft.
However, Parro decided to go to the AHL, playing for the Rochester Americans in the 1977-78 season, where he would get in 46 contests and go 25-16-3 in those games, then 2-1 in three playoff matches. The 1978-79 season had Parro in Rochester for part of the year, but only for 36 games with a 12-15-5 record. Parro also spent seven games with the IHL's Grand Rapids Owls that season.
The Summer of 1979 was interesting for Parro, as he was selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the Expansion Draft with the WHA teams coming into the fold. However, he was only a Nordique for two days, as they traded him to the Washington Capitals for Nelson Burton.
Parro would play for the Hershey Bears in the 1979-80 season, going 20-30-3 in his 54 games, but then going 5-3 in eight playoff appearances, helping the Bears win the Calder Cup. Parro would start out the 1980-81 season, playing in 14 games (7-6-1) before getting a call-up to Washington and playing in 18 games with the Capitals (4-7-2). The 1981-82 season would be a sticking point for Parro, as he got a majority of games in the Capitals net, although going 16-26-7 in his 52 games that year. Parro would only appear in six games for the Caps in the 1982-83 season (1-3-1) before being demoted to Hershey again, with a 21-20-4 record in 47 games, then 1-3 in four playoff games; while also getting AHL Second Team All-Star honors. The 1983-84 season had Parro play 42 games with the Bears, finishing 12-21-5, while appearing in relief in one game for the Caps.
Without a NHL deal, Parro moved to the IHL, signing with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles for the 1984-85 season, but only playing in 28 games with an 11-14-3 record to show. The 1985-86 season had Parro going to the Flint Spirits first, going 10-34-0 in 46 games, before moving onto the Fort Wayne Komets for five games and a 1-3-1 record to show. The 1986-87 season was the last one for Parro in the IHL and in hockey (for playing) as he would go 16-14-0 in 32 games with the Indianapolis Checkers.
While Parro's hung up the pads for a professional career, that almost changed. Parro lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania and was called upon by the Bears to be an emergency back-up in 1997 for Marc Denis. He didn't play, but he said it was a close call.
Parro still lives in Hershey, helping with the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic League for high schools, coaching first with Lower Dauphin High School, then now with Hershey High School. As well, Parro is active with the Bears, Capitals, and even Flyers alumni, serving as president for the Bears alumni.
While he didn't have the most lengthy career, Parro did leave his mark-- especially at the community level. He may not be remembered by many for his playing days, the indelible mark he left on the Hershey area will live onward for years to come.