The Colorado Avalanche have designs on playing dominating hockey in the second half of the season and asserting themselves in the Stanley Cup playoffs. While the play of superstars Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar are likely to be the key factors in determining if they can play at a championship level, the supporting cast will no doubt play a huge role. The Avs hope they have taken a step to upgrade that part of their team by signing veteran Zach Parise to a one-year, $825,000 contract.

The deal was announced Friday. The 39-year-old Parise was a free agent after playing the last two seasons with the New York Islanders. He was unattached until he signed with Colorado. Parise had played in all 82 games for the Islanders last season, and he scored 21 goals and 13 assists.

When Parise is on his game, the 5-11, 195-pound winger brings speed and offensive opportunism to the lineup.

“We are excited to add Zach to our group,” said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland. “Over his impressive NHL career, Zach has always been a highly competitive and driven forward who is hard to play against. We look forward to adding his veteran presence to our locker room.”

Zach Parise had his best years early in his career with the New Jersey Devils. He had four consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals, and that included a 45-goal, 94-point season in 2008-09. He has added two more 30-goal seasons, but he has largely become a role player in recent years.

The Avs are hoping that he can deliver several key goals that help them become a legitimate Stanley Cup threat.