Trade Zuccarello?

October 25, 2011, by

Mats Zuccarello has a lot of talent, an abundance of skill and plenty of vision, but until he strings a few quality performances together at the NHL level doubts will remain about his ability to stick in the big league. Given the prospects coming up through the system, Zuccarello is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant in New York.

Regardless of whether you think Zuccarello has been given a fair shot this season, the fact is Carl Hagelin has had such a strong start in the AHL this year, as has Kreider in college, and both JT Miller and Christian Thomas are proving their ability in junior. For these reasons, Zuccarello is not a necessity going forward for the Rangers.

What IS a necessity for the Rangers is health and depth. Would you package Zuccarello for a short term fix on the blueline? Would you package the Norwegian, a pick and a roster player to make the Rangers one of the deepest defensive teams in the league? If the Rangers could get a player such as Ryan Suter (as mooted by the New York Post) the Rangers would become infinitely stronger.

Assuming Staal comes back this season (not a given) adding a player of Suter’s ability gives the Rangers a jaw dropping top four and it would mean a player such as Mike Sauer dropping to the bottom pair. It’d mean a player such as Tim Erixon playing in the AHL, which wouldn’t be a terrible thing as he’d play big minutes down there.

However the point here is this; Mats Zuccarello is a diminishing asset. He’s ripping up the AHL upon arriving there this weekend, but hasn’t been able to do it in the NHL consistently.

Zuccarello would (at this stage) still be an appealing trade piece for several teams thanks to a small sample size, natural ability and his international play still relatively fresh in the mind. It’s in the Rangers interest to check out what he could fetch. If that is part of a bigger deal to address immediate roster needs then so be it.


  1. Agentsmith says:

    trade him!!!!!!!!!!! for the good of both sides.

  2. Sioux-per-man says:

    That thought has crossed my mind, show case him with the top line and see how many goals he puts up….. trouble is he would probably score to many goals to trade.
    He is not a 4th line player under Torts system. He can score goals, given the opportunity. The Jets could use a guy like him, I wouldn’t mind one or two of their DMan.

  3. bwaybshirtb says:

    uh. no.
    you do not trade this guy so that he can put up 3 points vs you everytime.
    christensen goes before zuccarello. or wolski.
    wolski is a perfect fit for winnipeg.
    zucc on the other hand, he is a future martin st. louis. he just needs the playing time..
    he needs to be a third liner seeing at least 12 minutes and watch what he can do. once he is comfortable he will be a pp quarterback as well.
    wolski needs to put up a 2 point game and then immediately be traded while people are fooled that that can happen consistently.

    • The Suit says:

      No chance Zukes is the next St. Louis, the only thing they have in common is their stature. Zukes has some skill, but he lacks escapability with the puck at the NHL level. I like him, but lets not get crazy.

      • bob says:

        I agree with you,no where near St.Louis.But with the right linemates he should be a 20 to30 goal scorer,not to many assists,We have too many small guys,trade him for a power foward,quality D or some draft picks in2012.Supposed to be a good draft.I have a feeling Stall is going to be shutdown longterm.Cause now Sather is goind after more garbage D.How many 6-7 D are we going to stockpile.I watch every Whale game and Woywitka,Eminger and the guys they have beeh inquiring about are not better than what we got.The only difference is they have a little NHL experience.

        • The Suit says:

          yea Sather isn’t left with too many options. You don’t want to trade the farm for a top guy when Staal’s status is uncertain.

          Tough position to be in. Hopefully with Sauer near returning that will get us back to a better place.

  4. Mikeyyyy says:

    It’s ournew philosophy. Dtockpile talent so no one else can use it against us.

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Trading Zuccarello for Suter is not a viable option because it will cost way more than just a Zuke. It may infact cost us a 1st and one of either Erixon, McIlrath or Del Zotto however say we trade with Columbus and get their 1st round pick then that trade would be worth it. Zuke is not a bottom 6 forward and we have no room for him on the top 6. Some may not like this but Newbury is a better addition to the Rangers than Zuke is. Hockey is not just about skill and scoring and role players essential to a team. Newbury contributes in faceoffs, grit and fighting plus he has enough skill to help with scoring on the 4th line once Wolski is inserted in the line up. What would Zuke do on the 4th line? A Newbury, Rupp and Wolski is far better to the team success than a Christensen, Zuke and Wolski line. So Zuke in my opinion is a tradable asset but only if it brings in another asset without losing multiple pieces for a stop gap measure or 3 players from us for 1 player in return

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Chris, got to line up here with The Leatherneck. Semper fi.

      The notion of MZA being something of a centerpiece in a trade for Ryan Suter is as superfluous as The Suit’s paean to Colton Orr.

      Nashville, if in fact they’re dangling one of their top-two D will want value for value: think any of Krieder, The Undertaker, Stumpy Thomas’s son, plus a roster player, plus a future draft choice(s).

      Realistically, unless you’re ready to start gutting the system, it’s going to be a bottom-tier Western Conference bottom six D-man: Cory Sarich (Calgary), Mark Fistric (Dallas), Mark Methot (Col), Kyle Quincey (Col).

      Did Phoenix waive Mike Sauer’s brother Kurt?

      Now if Winterpeg starts tanking by January–and the terms are more amenable than a Ryan Suter deal–let’s revisit Zach Bogosian.

      I also like Kris Newbury at the expense of waiving EC, or WW. The kid effin’ hustles. He’s got jam. He came up through our system.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        Ooooh Raaahh…..do or die…Brother

      • The Suit says:

        Not sure what Orr has to do with any of this, but for the most part I agree.

        MZA on the 4th line looks about as awkward as I would in baggie jeans and a sideways hat.

        It just doesn’t look right!

        We need to get Zukes producing as a top 9’er before we trade him. His value right now is too low.

    • ArtyFan says:

      Add Dubi to this trade and $$$ will be justified. Get Suter or Weber for Dubi and Zuks + pick, it’s a win, but nobody will make a trade from Preds side now.

    • pavel says:

      Why in god’s name would Columbus trade their 1st round pick this year when they haven’t even won a game? This isn’t Toronto we’re talking about.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        I was not saying they would, I am merely defferntiating the types of trade for Zuke, and not simply trading for a need

  6. Goose says:

    Trade him or play him on a scoring line. Don’t waste him on a grinding line or in the AHL.

  7. redwhiteblue says:

    Thats right everyone gang up on Zucca!.
    I hope they trade him and he scores 35 goals a season against the rangers. Every year something goes wrong and the Rangers have to blame someone and this year its Zucca.. who is it gonna be next year.??? Did you ever think its the staff and the style they want him to play??. Or only getting 4th line duty not helping.??.. Thats crapola, I hope they trade him and he becomes a super star just like St louie…. How about we get rid of the coaching staff and let these guys play hockey instead of this bull defense Torts game…

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      if you think Zuke on the 4th line is good I suggest you look at results…like it or not…7 mins a game…not much offense contributed…I will take Newbury over Zuke…results are results…forget your hypothesis that it is the coach…does it matter? no…Trots is the coach so it is what it is…I wont even consider making an assesment of a team until 25 games in…add in the fact that we have players hurt on D…an unregular preseason and start to a season…I would have to say that Zuke is a tradable asset but not as a part of a multi player and draft picks trade from our end for 1 player in return…my opinion simply

  8. JACKSON says:


  9. redwhiteblue says:

    I am tired of his tantrums, his system of up & down defense is NOT working. If he dont like you your gone. He did the same thing with del zotto, the kid had a great rookie season and screwed up a bit Torts gets pissed and thats the end of you, off to the minors your done in the NHL……
    I knew this was gonna happen with Richards coming over now he will only get about 25 pts a season with Torts system..
    Torts needs to get lost and get someone who appreciates these kids and let them play hockey!!

    • The Suit says:

      Stepan is on the first line, McDonagh is on first pairing. MDZ is getting PP time. Redden, Rozi, Drury, and Avery are gone.

      How is Torts not appreciating youth, when his mantra has been all about youth all offseason and now he’s backing that up with ice time?

      Richards a 25 point player? Really?

  10. bob says:

    I have to agree with some of the complaints of Torts,he is definitely an A-hole.I have a feeling if I met him in a bar,I wound wind up clocking him.I don’t know how he gets away with screwing the media over.He wouldn’t get away with that in any other sport in N.Y.But he actually is not playing his original gameplan because our D was not capable.I hope that changes soon because we now have 4 D who are fairly mobile.And I will be the first one to say Torts F—ed Del Zotto up.I swear he had that kid shitting his pants.Hard to recover when you got a log in your drawers.Kidding aside,some kids just don’t have the skin for Torts.Lets hope the kid pulls through,otherwise I blame Torts for his demise.And I also agree he lets his personal feelings affect his decisions.But in some ways he is a decent coach.But if this team is not on the other side of those one goal loses last year.Then its time to go.Right now something looks a little off with this team I hope it was just the long road trip.Hey,they have been around Torts non-stop for how long.REFER BACK TO THE FIRST 2 SENTENCES!

    • Original 6 says:

      How ab blaming DZ instead of a coach? Maybe if he wasn’t making the same mistakes he was making 2 years ago he wouldn’t be a problem and Torts cold just let him play. But he is making the same mistakes – repeatedly. And I’m not sure how you blame the coach for that. Even if he is a-hole.

  11. Matt J says:

    Zuke’s trade value is pretty high right now but we need the right trade to emerge. Suter or Weber just seem way to hard to get even if they are on one year deals. I’d rather go and get a scoring winger and put him on Gaborik and Richards LW so Stepan won’t have to play against such hard competition. What LW can Zuke and a another player get us? Also, cap issues shouldn’t be a problem because if we want to because we can simply bury Wolski in Hartford and call up Hagelin who has been lighting it up. Make a lineup look like:

    Mystery Left Winger- Richards- Gaborik
    Pack Line

    Not a terrible lineup depending on who the 1st line left winger is. Not to mention you could have Kreider come in next year and take Rupp’s spot, or the mystery left winger, and not to mention Christian Thomas who’s rising through the ranks and maybe could earn a spot next year.

    • bob says:

      I like that line-up.That is exactly what I said at the beginning of the season.Was hoping Wolski would come in on fire with all the so called work he did over the summer.But we just really need a power forward 20g-30A TYPE THAT WILL protect Gabs and Richie.I am a little worried about some teams taking liberties with these guys.But in the interim Steps will do just fine.But if we could get the right guy w/o breaking the bank,it could make a big difference in how far we go this year.

      • jack says:

        i think your looking for a milan lucic type of player…just don’t see that available anywhere right now. Rangers should sit tight and let Stepan grow on a line with Richie and Gabby. Nobody wants to see Slats f**k everything up after he had been doing a decent job lately. When Sauer returns, things will definitely get better. The only thing to worry about is McDonagh and Girardi playing too many minutes in the beginning of the season. Get a new coach (who actually talks to the media), call up zucc and let him play on the second line and split the pack line because it seems dubinsky needs to get demoted a line in order for him to play with a spark because he hasn’t looked himself

        • Blueshirt in Paris says:

          Really, do we really give a shit if Torts doesn’t talk to the media? Do you even understand why he chose not to?

          Split the line that was arguable the best last year to squeeze in MZA. Why? If Dubi doesn’t find his game we have bigger issues even if MZA starts to produce.

          And what everyone seems to be missing is that Stephan is a right handed shot playing on the left side and Gabby is a left handed shot playing on the right side. Great for shooting angles but no so great for board work and puck retrieval.

    • The Suit says:

      Not sure why anyone would think MZA’s trade value is high right now. The kid needs to produce in the NHL in order for that to happen.

      • Matt J says:

        high for zuccarello. Not high for any forward on the market. His own value is probably as high as it will be.

  12. rob sahm says:

    i am a zukes fan and i think he is going to be a good nhl player but its a waste to see him buried in hartford if the right deal comes along for us to make a trade i say do it because he deserves to play in the nhl not the minors and torts has his moments but get serious if we get rid of him who is gonna be the next coach ken hitchcock and dont say messier please.

  13. ranger17 says:

    Rick Nash from Columbus for who ever they want

  14. Upstate says:

    Zuccarello should not be traded.

    Christensen and Wolski are lazy, afraid to play physical and lack the drive to play in a so called “BLUE COLLAR SYSTEM”. The type of Bullshit Tortorella like to consider what his team is. And also they (Wolski and Christensen) are most likely cancer in the Locker Room.

    I digress.

    Zuccarello needs to put in the minutes down in the AHL. He is still very young and talented. I get it… He is lacking in size but he can play on a North American sheet given time to develope as a player.

    I can see a comparison to Saint Louis. Due to the fact they were both undrafted. and they were both shit on in the beginning of there careers. Saint was originally a Calgary Flame and never received playing time. And look where he is now?

    Very similar to Zucarello and what he is going through right now.

    Also the way the game is being formatted with less clutching grabbing and hitting. Zucarello will do just fine. He just needs to time.