Mats Zuccarello’s contract with the New York Rangers expires at the end of the 2018-2019 season. He will become an unrestricted free agent. What could his next contract look like?
Mats Zuccarello has been a staple in the New York Rangers offense for years. He joined the team in 2010 and has logged over 250 points since.
In two seasons, Zuccarello will be up for a new contract and could leave the Rangers if he doesn’t get a good offer. The Rangers will likely want to bring him back. His current contract carries a cap hit of $4.5M through four years. He will be turning 32 when he signs his new deal.
The Rangers and Zuccarello will likely look for comparable players who recently signed new deals. Their deals could reflect what Zuccarello’s offer will look like.
Comparable Contract #1
Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators just signed a seven year, 4.25M AAV contract this summer. He is just 23, but this past season he posted better numbers than Zuccarello.
Arvidsson had 31 goals and 30 assists for 61 points, adding a +16 rating and a 55% CF. Zuccarello had 15 goals and 44 assists for 59 points, adding a +15 rating and 51.9% CF.
Zuccarello is a little older and has posted similar numbers over many seasons, while this was Arvidsson’s first season with these type numbers. The Rangers could point to Arvidsson’s deal for price purposes and make a good case for Zuccarello to not get more than $5M a year.
The tenure is a little long but the Rangers should like to keep Zuccarello stabilized at this price through the long run. Remember, this is all assuming Zuccarello continues to put up similar numbers in the next two seasons.
Comparable Contract #2
Tomas Tatar is a great example of a contract that makes it seem as if Zuccarello deserves a big raise. He was resigned by the Detroit Red Wings this summer for a whopping $5.3M AAV over the next four seasons.
Tatar has worse numbers than Zuccarello does, and it’s not really close. Tatar had 25 goals and 21 assists for 46 points, adding a -8 rating and 51.9% CF.
Why the big numbers for Tatar? It could be because the Red Wings needed someone at his position and liked what they saw out of Tatar and wanted to give him what he wanted.
Tatar is a few years younger than Zuccarello too. However so is Arvidsson and that didn’t get him bigger money.
Predictions for Zuccarello
Zuccarello hasn’t given me any reason to doubt him in the future. He has had at least 49 points over the last four seasons and the rest of his game is strong.
He will probably get four to five years as far as tenure goes. That will take him until he is 36-37 years old; just in time for one more contract.
He will likely get around $5M AAV over the four to five years. The New York Rangers don’t want to overpay and likely wont be able to with all of the other contracts they have to fill. Zuccarello likes New York and may want to stay here regardless of the price.
A lot can happen in two years though. Zuccarello can send his stock to the roof if he has a good two years, but can also drastically decrease it. Only time will tell.