Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 11/19/14
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

Cavs beat Hawks without Kyrie Irving, take 2-0 lead

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Minor League team cancels 'A-Rod Juice Box Night'

Dolphins teammate on Dion Jordan: It’s a bad situation

Texans reportedly the favorite to be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Goodell will not recuse himself from Brady appeal

Will Smith suspended eight games for 'foreign substance'

Report: Kobe Bryant likely to retire following next season

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta

Michael Sam signs with CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

The Los Angeles Angels are finally finding their groove

Re-evaluating all 30 MLB teams at the quarter mark

Is virtual reality training the next leap forward for football?

Warriors a very shaky 2-0 against the Rockets

NFL icon Bud Grant zings Pats with Deflategate joke on Twitter

RG3 announces birth daughter's birth on social media

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

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

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

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.