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Zuccarello, Rangers have had ‘preliminary talks’

Jan 27, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers celebrates a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during their game on March 6, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
(March 5, 2011 - Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

From the Daily News:

On Monday morning, after pending restricted free agent Mats Zuccarello scored twice during Sunday’s snowfall, Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen reported the Rangers and Zuccarello’s representatives at Newport Sports have begun negotiations exploring a potential extension to his one-year, $1.15 million deal.

Zuccarello’s agent, Craig Oster, told the Daily News on Monday afternoon that while nothing new has happened recently, he and the Rangers have had “preliminary talks” and that both expressed satisfaction with their current arrangement and a willingness to revisit that discussion.

Zuccarello is second on the Rangers with 37 points. The 26-year-old is currently signed to a one-year, $1.15 million contract.

Of course, how much Zuccarello costs the club going forward (or is expected to cost the club) has the potential to affect the contract talks of unrestricted free agents Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, and Anton Stralman.

Plenty of big decisions remain on the horizon for general manager Glen Sather, including whether or not to buy out the Rangers’ current leading scorer, Brad Richards.

Related: In praise of Mats Zuccarello

  1. cruuuzcontrol - Jan 27, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Certainly would have been better financially for the Rangers if they worked out a longer term contract this past off-season… But I’m sure they wanted to see MZA produce before wanting to commit. Can’t blame ’em really… But his play so far has given him some solid leverage.

    • pfhockey - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      yeah, I see a few years and 3.5 to potentially 5 mil? I know it’s a big range lol

  2. stakex - Jan 27, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Zucca is having a great seasons so far, but its a bit too early to expect him to seriously cash in this offseason. Until recently his play at the NHL level has been pretty spotty, and his ability to be an effective goal scorer every game is still questionable. I could see him getting $3 million a year for a couple seasons, but unless he really lights it up over the last 29 games I don’t expect him to get more than that…. at least from the Rangers.

    Than again, the Cap is going up this summer…. so who knows, with Sather anything is possible. An interesting question to consider is: If it comes down to keeping Callahan or Zucca, who do you keep?

    • gaborik104life - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      I agree with the fact that he cannot seriously cash in this offseason however it depends on what you mean by seriously cash in. Him in the 3.5 million – 4.5 million range over a 2-3 year deal would not be terrible considering the future increase in cap. As for him being spotty let’s not forget he had to adjust to the smaller ice surface, learn the nhl game all at his rather small size which is a reasonable excuse for not constant production in his first few years. He won’t be a ppg player but I think 50-60 out of him is a rather reasonable expectation so long as he gets pp time.

      A growing concern is that Sather may overestimate him signing him to a ridiculous contract something I am extremely worried about until a larger sample size of his body of work exists.

    • 19to77 - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:58 PM

      Consider: Brian Bickell is making $4 million a year for four years on the basis of a relative hot streak in the playoffs, and David Clarkson is making $5.25 million for seven on the basis of one 30-goal (but 46-point) season.

      GMs will basically just throw money at players who can string together one good season these days, so assuming Zuccarello’s production doesn’t implode for the rest of the season he can probably get at least $4m a year.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      As far as your “cally or zucc” question… I’d have to say Zucc at the moment. I REALLY hope it doesn’t come to that though. Cally has been my favorite player since he broke into the league. I’d like to think with buying out richards (which they still need to do… sure he’s playing well now, but he’s only getting older, and that contract WILL bite them in the ass if they don’t remove it), they won’t need to make this choice…

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