Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 5/30/12
It was not even an entire day after the New York Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs before the rumor mill to begin churning for the offseason. The name that popped up and popped up often was that of 24-year-old forward Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello, who becomes a restricted free agent this summer, only played in ten games with the Blueshirts over the course of the 2011-12 season, spending most of his time with the Connecticut Whale in the American Hockey League. It was somewhat evident that the two sides were going to split before the offseason even hit, but the development over the past few days has pretty much confirmed that to be the case.   On Saturday morning it was reported that Zuccarello had agreed to terms on a deal that would send him overseas to play in the KHL. Without having to do very much digging, you could easily have disregarded that false rumor since a restricted free agent cannot sign elsewhere until he at least receives a qualifying offer from his current club. Zuccarello confirmed this via his twitter account: Its alot of romurs right now. I dont know yet were im going to play next year. — Mats Zuccarello (@zuccarello36) May 26, 2012 Grammar aside, Zuke made it very clear with that statement that he had not illegally signed a deal with another club in another League.  However, what he did not note was the follow-up report stating that he has a prearranged set-up in the KHL if the Rangers' qualifying offer is not in his preferred range and/or if the team cannot promise him more playing time at the NHL level. Whether or not that is 100-percent accurate is unknown, but it was reported by multiple sources.  Meanwhile, during Monday's break-up day at the training center in New York, Zuccarello was quick to voice his displeasure with how few NHL games he skated in during the regular season... "Even the injury or not, I only played 10 games this season. That's not enough for me," Zuccarello told ESPN. "I want to play more and if that's not going to happen, I've got to figure something else out." His point cannot be debated.  But does that mean the Rangers should give in to the 5-foot-7 winger's demands? Absolutely not, especially with the growing core of young prospects developing and nearing their NHL debuts. Zuccarello has his advantages with his quick feet and hands, but that can and will be easily replaced in the future without having to even reach outside of the organization. Plus, despite the speed, it became more and more evident that Zuccarello's small stature was not exactly perfectly suited for the NHL, which seems to be getting tighter and tighter each year.  Obviously it wouldn't be a bad thing if the Rangers could meet at a middle ground with Zuccarello and get him signed for the following season, but they wouldn't be missing out on a whole lot if that wasn't the case. Nor can they guarantee him any specific amount of games because, as we know darn well, the coach's lineup is never predictable from one game to the next.  Personally, I think the Mats Zuccarello - New York Ranger relationship has come to an end, but that's just me.  "I want to be a New York Ranger. I love the players, all the guys here," Zuccarello said. "The fans are unbelievable and I just love playing in New York with the team. This is where I want to be, don't get me wrong, but I have to think about what's best for me." 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks president threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

ESPYs golf classic moving from Trump course

Report: Pierre-Paul could miss training camp, start of season

Report: Spurs sign David West

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Report: DeAndre Jordan was tired of Chris Paul's antics

Carli Lloyd needs help to carry all her World Cup awards

Russell Wilson abstaining from sex with girlfriend Ciara

Coach K on meeting Beyonce for first time: 'I felt like 13'

Three-star TE Michael Irvin Jr. commits to Miami

Bryce Harper skipping HR Derby because of dad's injury

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Dwyane Wade: I'll retire 'when I can no longer play'

How Matt Ryan became “Matty Ice”

The long road of an NBA second-round pick

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.