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.
Zucc told John Giannone during his bench interivew on Wednesday that in addition to creating offense, he wants to “bang bodies” on the ice.
In seven games this season, Zuccarello has 16 hits.
Last season, in ten games, Zuccarello had eight hits.
In 2010-11, Zuccarello had 56 hits in 42 games.
Prior to last night’s win over the Maple Leafs John Tortorella was asked about Mats Zuccarello. Tortorella said that while Zuccarello has had chances and he is comfortable putting him in different situations on the ice, Zuccarello has to score, “It’s nice that we have seen it before but we gotta see it now.”
When asked during an interview during the Rangers pre game show, Zuccarello told John Giannone that he doesn’t feel any extra pressure to score and that he doesn’t care who does score as long as the team wins.
While Zuccarello had no shots on goal last night, he scored the only goal in last night’s shootout and helped the Rangers pick up a crucial second point.
After the game, John Tortorella said on MSG that Zuccarello played well and “he needed to do something and he did.”
Zuccarello was awarded the Broadway Hat after the game and told Katie Strang, at ESPN NY, that he had a good feeling when he saw the red light go on and that he was just happy to help the Rangers pick up two points.
Carl Hagelin told the NY Post that he saw Zuccarello perform that move in practice recently and added “he’s got great hands and great poise and is probably the best shootout player in the league.”
On the pre game show, Brian Leetch praised Zuccarello for not being a perimeter player and his willingness to go fight for opportunities that guys his size don’t normally do.
1:16PM: Zuccarello will have a chance to break the streak tomorrow as the team announced on twitter that he will be in the lineup tomorrow.
12:13PM: On twitter, Kenny Albert noted that Cary Price has a shutout streak of 192:45 at the Bell Centre against the Rangers.
The last Ranger to score against Price at the Bell Centre was Mats Zuccarello.
That goal was scored over two years ago on 1/15/11.
The last 3 games for Price at the Bell Centre against the Rangers have been:
- 3-0 2/23/13
- 4-0– 11/19/11
Zuccarello scored at 6:57 of the third period in that game.
Adam Rotter: Mats Zuccarello isn’t coming to the Rangers to be anything more than a role player who can hopefully create some offense and help in the shootout. He isn’t coming to be a savior or be the missing piece or anything like that. He is being brought in to try and help the power play, generate more offense and give the Rangers an advantage in the shootout since so many games appear to be headed that way. Expecting Zuccarello to do what Rick Nash or Marian Gaborik are supposed to do will only set yourself up for disappointment.
For more on what Zucc can do, CLICK HERE