Zuccarello bids the Rangers adieu

June 1, 2012, by

Following up on the story last week that Mats Zuccarello is indeed headed for the KHL, the diminutive winger tweeted today that he is indeed done with the organization:

Nyr fans!! its been amazing playing in front of u guys! Thanks! . Im gonna miss u! Ur the best! Thanks rangers 4 2 good years. #Rangers

This is the end of what had to be a rough road for Zuccarello, who was never really able to crack the Rangers roster full time. In 52 total games with the organization, Zuccarello finished with a line of 8-18-26, good for a pace of 41 points per year. Some of his goals are memorable, such as his overtime winner against Carolina, but in the end he was a fringe player for this organization.

The topic of Zuccarello is a hot one for Ranger fans, as many believed he could provide some much needed scoring to the lineup. The problem was that he is the type of player that needs top six minutes to produce effectively, and he was not going to get that within the organization. He was not a fit for the bottom six, as his defensive zone work needed a lot of help. He was just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.


  1. ranger17 says:

    remember Rick Middleton not big not great on offence 50 goal scorer

    • Comnsnse says:

      Ranger,Middleton played with sizeable fellows and a tough team. Plus he was a terific natural scorer. Zuchs might play in the NHL if he were faster and with better linemates. Of course Gaby would score more with those same better linemates! Where are they?

  2. ranger17 says:

    Sorry not great on the D

  3. Ray says:

    I’m not convinced. The player Zuccarello reminded me of was Wayne Gretzky. I’m still not sure he wasn’t the best offensive talent we had. It certainly is not true that he needed top six minutes to be a useful player – he could produce assists playing with anyone on the current team save Rupp.

    That said, it did not appear he could be successful playing for Tortorella. This is a flaw in Tortorella’s make-up. However, every coach has weaknesses, Torts is a good coach and a good coach for this particular team. It isn’t about the players you don’t have, it’s about the ones you do and how you use them.

    Do wish Sather could have traded him to an NHL team that would use him properly – love to watch him play.

    • Dave says:

      I’m sorry, you lost me when you compared Zuccarello to Wayne freaking Gretzky.

    • Dave says:

      Also…what makes you think Slats didn’t try to trade him?

      • Ray says:

        Sorry – I wasn’t clear. I didn’t mean to imply Slats didn’t try to trade him. Just expressed a wish that it would have happened.

  4. The Suit says:

    I liked Zukes, but I didn’t see the same escape-ability with the puck that other guys his size have. He had some skill, but board play and defense were issues last season. Unfortunately, we never got to see if he could have made the adjustment this season. It’s too bad he got injured.

  5. Rob sahm says:

    Good luck zuke you will be back in the nhl someday

  6. Mikeyyy says:

    Nyr org failed on this.

    No way you play rupp and Bickel at forward and not give zucc more of a look.

    More playing time would have yielded better results.

    • Rickyrants13 says:

      Did the same thing when they could have played Newbury over Bickel in the playoffs

  7. Vince R says:

    I think we were trying that strategy in the end Mikeyyy, but unfortunately he got hurt. As far as Rupp goes, Zucc isn’t a center. I think we could have given Zucc a little more of a shot, but I think the size thing hurt and to be honest, it wasn’t until the final stretch that he seemed to be promising (in my opinion anyway) and we’ve never seen him keep that up for more than short stretches.

    I do like him though and as a 5’6″ man myself, I always have a space in my heart for the shortsters!