In an interview with TV2 in Norway, Mats Zuccarello said that he and his agents decided it was better to back off on some of the things they were looking for in a new contract as a way to prevent the two sides from going to arbitration.
Zuccarello said that he is happy to stay with the Rangers and is glad he gets an opportunity to show he is worth a long-term deal.
He said that at the start of negotiations he was looking for a longer-term deal but is fine with a one-year deal.
Zuccarello said that he doesn’t know much about Alain Vigneault but said that the coach doesn’t really matter as it’s up to each player to perform and prove themselves.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Zuccarello may have only been sent a qualifying offer because of the injuries that will prevent Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin from starting the season.
With the Rangers signing of Mats Zuccarello to a deal that has a cap hit of $1.15 million, the Rangers currently have $2.18 million in cap space, according to how Cap Geek has the Rangers roster assembled.
The Rangers still need to sign Derek Stepan and also have Brandon Mashinter as a RFA.
Sending Arron Asham and Darroll Powe down to the minors gives the Rangers $4.03 million in cap space
Because Powe and Asham have salaries greater than $925,000 they will still have a cap charge if sent to the minors. Asham will have a $75,000 cap charge and Powe will have a $141,666 cap charge.
If Powe and Asham are able to be traded for non-roster players or if they are claimed on waivers, the Rangers would have $4.247 million in cap space.
Cap Geek doesn’t include JT Miller in their projection.
The Rangers are allowed to go 10% over the upper limit of $64.3 million during the summer but need to be under the $64.3 upper limit by the last day of training camp.
11:32AM: The Rangers have announced that they have signed Mats Zuccarello to a one-year deal.
Darren Dreger reports that the deal is worth $1.15 million.
The Rangers and Zuccarello were scheduled to go to arbitration tomorrow morning.
12:48PM: Zuccarello’s agent told VG, in Norway, that Zucc didn’t have to cut his salary demands and that the talk of $2 million per season was never true. He adds that Zuccarello was always in favor of a salary that he felt was equal to his market value.
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Last Monday, Sam Gagner and the Edmonton Oilers had a 9AM ET arbitration hearing scheduled.
Gagner and the Oilers didn’t have the hearing as it was announced shortly after 9AM that Gagner and the Oilers had just come to terms on a three-year deal worth $14.4 million.
Back in the summer of 2011, Brandon Dubinsky had a hearing scheduled for early morning on July 21st and the two sides were able to avoid arbitration by coming to terms on a four-year contract.
One week later, in July of 2011, the Rangers signed Ryan Callahan to his new contract with less than 24 hours to go before his arbitration hearing.
Callahan’s agent said that a deal was struck at the “11th and a half hour” after he and Jeff Gorton beat each other up before finding a compromise. He added that a deal was made right before both sides were going to get on a plane and head to Toronto for the hearing.
Mats Zuccarello has a hearing on Wednesday morning.
Mats Zuccarello spoke with Dagbladet and once again said that he “belongs” to the Rangers and is only thinking about playing for them next season.
They note that with the limited amount of space the Rangers have under the salary cap Zuccarello could get a pay cut from what he made last season. Zuccarello had a cap hit of $700,000 last season after signing with the team in March.
Zuccarello said that he hasn’t yet spoken with Alain Vigneault but doesn’t expect to until he comes back to New York.
In terms of the Olympics, Zuccarello said that he doesn’t know if he will get to play for Norway but that he hopes he will.
Zuccarello has a endorsement deal with Unibet and the Norway Hockey Association has said that he isn’t available to play as long as he has an endorsement deal with a company other than the Norwegian Lottery, who sponsor the National team.
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Mats Zuccarello, who is in Spain on vacation, spoke with Norwegian newspaper VG and said that he understands the situation the Rangers are in with the salary cap and that he may need to take less money than he thinks he is worth.
Zuccarello said that he isn’t thinking about or expecting a long term deal which could award him the money he thinks he deserves but would lessen his cap hit.
His agent, according to the paper, believes that Zuccarello is worth at least $2 million per season but the Rangers are not willing to give him that much. This contradicts what Zuccarello has previously said, he doesn’t think he deserves $2 million, but is in line with previous reports about what Zuccarello and his agents are asking for.
While Zuccarello says that he hopes to get a deal done as soon as possible, he doesn’t see a problem with going to arbitration.
As noted in this report from TV2, a TV station in Norway, Mats Zuccarello may not be chosen to play for Norway at the Olympics in 2014 due to an ongoing issue with Zuccarello and the National Team.
A story from May indicates that Zuccarello has an endorsement contract with a betting company that is a rival to the betting company that helps to finance Norway sports.
The report indicates that the Norwegian National team has told Zuccarello that he isn’t welcome as long as he has a contract with the rival betting company.
Zuccarello had two goals and an assist in four Olympic games in 2010 and his performance is what caught the eye of Glen Sather and other NHL personnel.