Larry Brooks published an article about how Mats Zuccarello and his agent might approach the Rangers about alternate options in the next few weeks if the Rangers keep him in Connecticut. Zuccarello earns $67.5K in the AHL and could certainly make more money if he was traded to a team that would put him in the NHL or if he was free to sign in Europe. However, Glen Sather’s response to the NY Post’s inquiries doesn’t leave much optimism for that happening. Sather said bluntly, “why would we agree to anything like that? There is no such agreement.” Brooks seems to be doing his usual stirring of the pot and overplaying something to make it a bigger controversy than it really is. What are Zuccarello’s thoughts on the situation?
Zuccarello seems to have a different idea of what he and his agent will be discussing. He told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang that he has no intentions of asking to leave but that it would make sense to explore other options if the Rangers do not have any long-term plans for him, Mats claims that his primary goal is to play in the NHL, and specifically with the Rangers. If Sather tells him and his agent that the team “has a plan” for him then “it is good” that they want to keep him. In other words, the purpose of the meeting is not to ask to leave, but rather to find out where Zuccarello stands with the organization. Based on Sather’s comments, it seems pretty clear that the team thinks he could still have a future with the Rangers.
I still think Zuccarello is a prime contender to be involved in a trade at the deadline, but we’ll see. Maybe he’ll get another chance with the big club before then. Let’s give credit to Mats, though. He could be earning a lot more money in Europe and he could possibly be playing in the NHL in a different organization, but he’s making the best of this situation and trying to make it work with the Rangers.