According to an interview that Mats Zuccarello gave earlier this week in Norway, Mats Zuccarello says that there has been interest from other teams about him but that he is only focusing on being a Ranger.
Zuccarello said that he isn’t stressing over the situation and gets asked all the time if he will return to the Rangers or play somewhere else.
Zuccarello told TV2 in Norway that the two sides aren’t far apart in negotiations and denied that he was searching for $2 million per year as was reported. Zuccarello said that his demands are not unreasonable.
He said that he hopes to avoid arbitration but that even if he goes through the process he isn’t worried about a strained relationship afterward.
Zuccarello said that he hopes a deal can be done in the next week or two.
In his interview with TV2, he says that his agents in North America have recieved inquiries about his status but that he only wants to focus on being a Ranger now.
THIS SECTION is all about Zuccarello.
According to Larry Brooks, in the NY Post, Mats Zuccarello is looking for a new contract that will pay him around $2 million per season.
Brooks says that the Rangers are likely offering Zuccarello a deal that would pay him $1.5 million per season.
Zuccarello filed for arbitration last night. His hearing will take place in late July or early August. The Rangers can not walk away from a deal worth less than $3.5 million.
It’s been reported that the Rangers want to bring Zuccarello back at a salary closer to $1.25 million.
Zuccarello’s European agent said in late June that he thought a deal was close and would be for multiple years.
He said earlier in the week, in a Norwegian paper, that he wants to be a Ranger and isn’t stressing over the current situation.
5:06PM: Zuccarello has filed for arbitration. The Rangers and Zuccarello and still discuss contract terms prior to his hearing.
Last summer Anton Stralman filed for arbitration and the two sides agreed to a deal before his July 31 hearing.
In 2011, the Rangers and Brandon Dubinsky agreed to terms hours before he was scheduled for his hearing, Ryan Callahan signed the day before his hearing, and Brian Boyle signed ten days before his hearing.
3:59PM: Larry Brooks tweets that it seems more likely that Mats Zuccarello will file for arbitration today rather than sign a new contract.
For more on Zuccarello’s contract, CLICK HERE.
The deadline to file for arbitration is today.
6:28PM: Zuccarello’s agent told the NY Post that they are still anticipating signing with the Rangers and are not yet looking at offers in Europe.
8:29AM: In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers signing of Benoit Pouliot could signal the end of Mats Zuccarello’s time with the Rangers.
He writes that Pouliot is bigger, a better skater and skated in the top six with Tampa Bay last season. More importantly, the Rangers may not have enough salary cap space for Zuccarello with the money that they will need to use to sign Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin.
Brooks says that Zuccarello is in the salary range of $1.3 million and that is the amount of money the team just committed to Pouliot.
Zuccarello’s agent has spoken about how the Rangers want to bring him back and that they could have a deal that lasts for two or three years.
NY is where Zuccarello says he wants to play.
Adam Rotter: This is a situation that will play itself out. The Rangers could make a move or two, Brian Boyle, that could free up the space to keep Zuccarello. It’s also a matter of what numbers are being reported that the players will sign for and what numbers they actually sign for. Regardless, it’s going to be a tight fit under the cap for the Rangers to get everyone they want signed. Maybe, with a lot more space next summer and a higher cap, the Rangers can get Zuccarello on a cheaper one-year deal and have him earn more money and a longer term.
Mats Zuccarello’s agent told VG, a newspaper in Norway, that while nothing has been signed or done yet, he anticipates a new contract for Zuccarello in the near future.
Zuccarello said that he thinks he will get a longer-term deal than the qualifying offer the team sent him earlier in the week, which retains his rights and prevents him from becoming an unrestricted free agent, and has faith that a deal will get done to keep him with the Rangers.
Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that the Rangers have Zuccarello’s contract slotted in the area of $1.25 million.
Zuccarello has said that New York is where he wants to play.
It’s been speculated in the Norwegian press that Zuccarello will sign a deal for 2/3 years.
Norwegian newspaper VG, via Christopher, reports that Mats Zuccarello’s agent Erik Ryman has spoken with Glen Sather about a new contract for Zuccarello.
Ryman says that there are only a few details left to go over and that it will be a one-way contract for Zuccarello that has a length of two or three years.
He adds that a deal could come as early as this Thursday, prior to the NHL draft, but even it if can’t be signed until after, Zuccarello will be a Ranger next season.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks predicts what the Rangers RFAs will sign for this summer.
- Ryan McDonagh: 4/5 years with a cap hit of $4.5/$5 million per
- Derek Stepan: 4/5 years with a cap hit of $4 million per
- Carl Hagelin: 2/3 years with a cap hit between $1.75 million and $2.5 million
- Mats Zuccarello: 2 years at $1.5 million
Brooks notes that if the Rangers don’t amnesty Brad Richards, and these are around the salaries that they sign their RFAs for, the team will end up bringing back pretty much the same group of forwards.
Scott Cullen of TSN predicts:
- Ryan McDonagh: $4.5 million per season
- Derek Stepan: $4 million per season
- Carl Hagelin: $1 million per season
- Mats Zuccarello: $750K per season
The Hockey News did the same thing recently.
Since returning to the Rangers in March, Mats Zuccarello played 15 games in the regular season and 12 in the playoffs.
He had a total of four goals and 11 assists in that time and fired 49 shots on goal. In both the regular seaosn and playoffs Zucc averaged 16:20 per game and had a total of 49 hits.
Zuccarello said that he hopes to return to the Rangers next year and that New York is where he wants to be.
He added that this season he enjoyed having a bigger role and felt like he was the player that the Rangers wanted him to be when he first signed.
His agent told NRK last week that he feels that a contract should be able to be worked out “in no time.” His agent also said that he doesn’t think the firing of John Tortorella will have an impact on Zuccarello one way or the other.