Mats Zuccarello spoke with TV 2, a Norwegian TV station, about his contract talks this summer and what he hopes to accomplish this season.
Zuccarello said that he understood the Rangers were in a tough spot with the salary cap this summer and that he hopes to play well enough this season to show that he is worth more.
He says that he thinks he will be playing in the top nine and in a role that will allow him to produce offensively.
Zuccarello says that he doesn’t know much about Alain Vigneault other than he likes to play offensive hockey.
On his future, Zuccarello said that he hopes to play well enough over a full season to have a chance to play with the Rangers for a long time.
Norwegian TV station TV2 caught up with Mats Zuccarello as he spends time before the season with family friends in New Jersey.
He said that he is working out and skating with his teammates in NY and feels as if he is in pretty good shape.
Zuccarello ended a relationship with a Norewegian gaming company earlier in the summer that will allow him to play for Norway in the Olympics. He said that he has spoken with the Norway coach but still hasn’t spoken to the members of the Hockey Federation that told him he couldn’t play if he was still endorsing a rival gaming company.
Zuccarello signed a one-year deal with the Rangers back in July.
This past season, Brad Richards commented that when he watches Mats Zuccarello he is reminded of some of the things that his former teammate Marty St. Louis used to do.
In a chat with Nettavisen back in the spring, Zuccarello responded to these comments and said that the comparison comes from being small and nimble, but also that St. Louis didn’t get his breakthrough in the NHL until he was 25 of 26 years old.
Zuccarello did say that St. Louis is one of the best players in the league and that he certainly has a long way to go to get up there.
St. Louis played 69 games with Calgary before moving to Tampa Bay in 2000-01, where as a 25 year old, he had 40 points in 78 games. In 2001-02, at 26 years old, St. Louis had 35 points in 53 games. At 27, in 02-03, he had 70 points in 80 games.
According to the twitter feed @CTWolfpack01, Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello have been taking turns skating at the Rangers practice facility prior to the Rangers Peewee Camps this week.
Tweets and pictures are below:
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In an interview with Nettavisen from the Spring, Mats Zuccarello said that he is an avid Fantasy Hockey player and participates in a serious league with teammates and friends from Norway.
Zuccarello said that he had Ryan Callahan on his team this past season and would remind him of that before every game. Zuccarello would tell Callahan to make sure he is on his toes and ready so that he can help his fantasy team.
He said that he prefers not to have himself on his team and that when he did, during the 11-12 season, it didn’t work out well.
Earlier this week, Mats Zuccarello ended his sponsorship deal with a Norwegian gaming company that was going to prevent him from participating in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Norway coach Roy Johansen said that he thought all along that Zuccarello would end up making a decision that would allow him to play in the Olympics and that his decision to end his sponsorship shows he is about more than money.
Johansen said that he appreciates how much value Zuccarello places in playing on the National team and that Zuccarello is a good representative for Norwegian hockey in the NHL.
Zuccarello said that he wanted to play for the National Team and Unibet, the gaming company he was endorsing, didn’t want to stand in the way of that.
The issue between Zuccarello and the Norwegian Hockey Association was that Zuccarello had signed an endorsement deal with a gaming company that is a direct rival to one of Norwegian Hockey’s top sponsors. Zuccarlelo was barred from the National Team as long as he had that endorsement deal in place.
According to TV2 in Norway, Mats Zuccarello has ended his relationship with a gaming company that could have prevented him from participating in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Norwegian Hockey Federation, which didn’t want Zuccarello endorsing a rival company, had told Zuccarello that he wouldn’t be allowed to play as long as he had a contract with unibet. Now that the deal has been terminated, Zuccarello has been told he can play for the National Team again.
Unibet said that they didn’t want to stand in the way of Zuccarello playing in the Olympics.
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.
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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.