Found May 30, 2012 on The Rangers Tribune:
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." 
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rangers agree to terms with Jesper Fasth

The Rangers have agreed to terms with forward Jesper Fasth, their sixth round draft pick in 2010. Fasth was one of the Swedish Elite League’s top scorers before suffering a gruesome ankle injury that ended his season. In 21 games, Fasth had 16 points (5-11-16) and a +9 rating. The Rangers needed to offer the 5’11″ 176 lb winger a contract prior to the end of June or they would...

Have We Seen the Last of Brandon Dubinsky as a Ranger?

During break-up day this past weekend, 26-year-old forward Brandon Dubinsky sounded optimistic in regard to his future with the New York Rangers and the mutual trust between he, the player, and the organization. Coming off a rough season in which he only scored ten goals in 77 games, Dubinsky may not be as fortunate as he hopes once the offseason really kicks into gear and the front...

John Tortorella speaks at length with Michael Kay

You all come here every day to get our take on the players, the coaches, and the organization at large. A lot of what we do day in and day out analysis-wise is based on our own experiences playing the game, observing it, or having been employed by it.  With that said, we don’t have access to the team or permission to speak with John Tortorella. We don’t have credentials and...

Remembering the 2011-2012 New York Rangers

Writing up a eulogy to remember the 2011-12 New York Rangers would not be easy, and I considered this heavily when thinking how I was going to go about writing mine for The Rangers Tribune. The reason the task is so difficult is because this was undoubtedly one of the most memorable Rangers seasons in recent history, with so many landmark events and moments taking place within it...

Press Release: New York Rangers Agree To Terms With Jesper Fast

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Jesper Fast. Fast, 20, skated in 21 games with HV71 of the Swedish Elite League (SEL) this season, registering five goals and 11 assists for 16 points, along with four penalty minutes and a plus-nine [...]

Press Release: Rangers Agree To Terms with Free Agent Marek Hrivik

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Marek Hrivik. Hrivik, 20, led Connecticut (AHL) with five goals and tied for the team lead with nine points in nine playoff games.  He ranked second among AHL rookies in playoff goals, tied [...]

Rangers final grades: Defense

Before we get to the report card for the Rangers blueline, let’s remember this: the Rangers enjoyed a spectacular season bested by only two teams in the entire league. A huge part of this success was because of the Rangers blueline. With that said, let’s look at the grades for the Rangers defensemen. (p.s. if you missed it, here’s the Suit’s take on the top six scoring forwards...

Rangers sign Marek Hrivik

The Rangers are beginning to make waves with their prospects and ATO candidates. Just a day after announcing the signing of Jesper Fast, the Rangers have announced that they have agreed to terms with UFA winger Marek Hrivik. Hrivik earned a lot of press coverage when he exploded in the AHL playoffs, leading Connecticut in goals (5) and points (9) in nine playoff games. Hrivik will...

Rangers GM struggling with elimination

Rangers general manager Glen Sather is still having a tough time dealing with his top-seeded club's elimination in the Eastern Conference finals. Sather, the architect of the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty teams in the 1980s, is still looking to build a champion in New York. He saw the Rangers reach the NHL final four, but they were knocked out in six games by the New Jersey Devils...

Shot blocking detractors piss me off: Rangers coach John Tortorella on WFAN

On May 7th the NY Post's Larry Brooks wrote, "The Rangers and Capitals will play a pivotal Game 5 tonight at Madison Square Garden in an eastern semifinal matchup that might otherwise be known as the... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

Henrik Lundqvist Apparently Did Touch the Cup this past Weekend

Page 6 reports NY Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, Brandon Dubinsky, Stu Bickel and Mats Zuccarello partied late into the night at 1Oak Friday following their OT loss to the New Jersey Devils. Saturday... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

The First Game 7 SCF Overtime Game

from John Kreiser of NHL.com, No one gave the New York Rangers much of a chance in the 1950 Stanley Cup Final. Not only were the fourth-place Rangers facing the first-place Red Wings, they wouldn’t even get to play a home game – Madison Square Garden had its annual spring visit from the circus, and the clowns and elephants took precedence over the Rangers and Red Wings. After...

Taking a Small Break from Posting Regularly

Hey there, folks. I just wanted to apologize for not having posted anything substantial in the last few days. When it comes to New York Rangers’ hockey, there really is not much to write/blog about right now. The team finished packing up, is going home for the summer and do not have to worry about anything for the next few months. With that said, it is my plan to be here all...

Break-up Day

Yesterday was breakup day for the Rangers and to me the most interesting quotes came from the free agents (via Blueshirts United)...Brandon Prust (UFA)..."I love it here and we have a good thing going and a good group of guys and a great organization, so I would love to be back. Obviously money is a factor, but it's not the biggest factor for me. Being a big part of a winning...

Tortorella Strikes Back

John Tortorella made the rounds on New York sports radio yesterday and used the opportunity to go after critics of his shot blocking strategy in the media...Here's what he said on ESPN Radio's Michael Kay Show yesterday..."I think the people that are writing about us with our shot blocking ... I think they're idiots. I think they're disrespecting our players...
Rangers 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!

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.