Zuccarello’s Waiver Status Is Also A Concern

August 31, 2011, by

Following up on the discussion yesterday about Michael Del Zotto’s waiver status, another player that is going to have waiver issues soon is none other than Mats Zuccarello.  Much like Del Zotto, Zuccarello has a limited window on his waiver eligibility.  The unfortunate part with Zuccarello is that his window is much shorter than Del Zotto’s, infact it’s almost half the length at just 18 games.  After Zuccarello plays his 18th NHL game, he will no longer be exempt from waivers.

This poses the same issue that Del Zotto’s waiver status poses, should Zuccarello falter halfway through the season, he can no longer be sent to the AHL.  It is also a guarantee that he would be claimed, as he has a lot of skill.  Zuccarello’s problem is that his adjustments to the North American game haven’t caught up to his skill yet.  When/If they do, he could be a dangerous player.

What does work in the Rangers favor is that they have a lot of extra forwards that can step in for Zuccarello should he miss the cut out of camp.  Remember, it’s John Tortorella, he will give Zuccarello every possible shot to make the team.  But, if he does not force his way on the team, he could find himself in the AHL working out the kinks instead of in the NHL working out the kinks.

Zuccarello is another player who the Rangers are going to have to tread carefully with.  He will not only have to force his way on to the roster, but he will have a short leash when it comes to struggles.  When 18 games rolls around, he’s either skating or a healthy scratch.  Zuccarello won’t benefit from being Prucha’d, so it’s do-or-die in the first 17 games for The Hobbit.


  1. Zen says:

    Given the current roster, I feel that Zuc already has his ticket punched for Connecticut unless he significantly impresses in training camp. He isn’t a guy who should be playing in a bottom six role and I’m not sure there is any top six room for him on the big club. Logically (due to the waiver situation), he just seems like trade bait at this point.

    • Mikeyyyy says:

      He did work on his stride with underhill as did delzotto. I think the kids will impress this camp.

    • The Suit says:

      I’m with Zen. This waiver status thing just adds to the reasons why the odds are against him. I love Zukes and all, but not more than I love everyone else projected to be in our top 6, aside from WoWo of course.

      • Dave says:

        What about Zuc on a third line with Stepan and Fedotenko?

        • Tom says:

          Why does the waiver status works against him? If he is being sent down its probably beacuse hes not good enough so why should they keep him? Hes contract end in 2012 anyway.

          • Dave says:

            Because it will influence their decision in letting him work out his issues in the NHL or in the AHL.

        • Zen says:

          It is pretty hard to predict lines at this point, so I am just looking at the numbers game. It seems that the 13th forward will be EC due to his affordability, so that leaves Avery and Zuc fighting for one spot. I see Avery making it over Zuc.

  2. cmac44 says:

    Obviously there is a trade in the Ranger’s future. I like what they’ve done with this team, but I am looking at a deep playoff run, no more developmental years. The biggest question is who plays with Gaborik and Richards. I don’t trust Wolski, he was completely unimpressive. That leaves Dubinsky, but then who plays with Cllahan and Anisimov? I doubt anyone will take Wolski with his big contract, unless he is packaged with someone else. That could be a prospect or Eric Christensen, who has a very favorable contract, but seemingly no place on the Rangers. We also need a big defenseman, if McIlrath isn’t ready. We don’t need Staal or Girardi dropping the gloves….Eminger, Erixon or delZotto aren’t physical presences for sure. Training camp will be a showcase, as will the first twenty games. Unilke the 1970s, the fringe players can help other teams, just don’t expect to get back a first line left winger. Slats really screwed up the Zherdev trade, always remember that teams don’t readily give up on skilled players, unless it’s a true blockbuster like the Esposito trade, cap overload or they know something…..see Wolski, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter. Fedor Tyutin would have filled the bill nicely.