Brooks: Slats to look at bringing in Zuccarello, Fast(h), Lindberg

February 27, 2013, by
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Larry Brooks spoke with Glen Sather yesterday prior to the Rangers 4-3 loss to Winnipeg, and the Rangers GM said that he is looking into re-signing Mats Zuccarello once his KHL season ends:

“I’m definitely interested in talking to Zuke,” Sather said before the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Jets last night. “I’ve always liked him as a player. We’ll see what happens.”

It’s worth noting that the Rangers own Zuccarello’s NHL rights, as they tendered a qualifying offer to him way back in June. That offer came after Zuccarello send goodbye to the Rangers in favor of the KHL. It’s also worth noting that Zuccarello’s KHL deal has an NHL out-clasue should the miniature Norwegian decide to return to the Rangers.

Bringing Zuccarello back to the Rangers would be an interesting decision, as The Hobbit has been a hot topic for Ranger fans since they signed him in 2010. There is no doubt that Zuccarello is skilled, but he always appeared to be a fringe player with the Rangers organization. Despite that appearance, Zuccarello still managed a line of 8-18-26 in 52 games with the Rangers. Of those 26 points, 11 came on the powerplay. Clearly, Slats would like to bring Zucc back to inject some life on the powerplay.

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of Zuccarello for the Rangers. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is skilled, but as of last year he just didn’t fit in with the club’s top two lines. That said, we could be entering an age where Zuccarello is useful as a fourth line player at even strength, but a top powerplay contributor. We’ve seen powerplay specialists on defense (Marc-Andrew Bergeron), so it’s entirely possible to have powerplay specialist forwards.

The other tidbit that Brooksie mentions is that Slats is going to look to bring Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg to North America after their respective SEL seasons end. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be joining the NHL club, but they could join the Whale for the rest of the year and any potential playoff run. Both kids are signed to their ELCs (three-year deals signed in June), so getting them under contract isn’t an issue. The issue is getting them out of their SEL contracts. I believe Fast(h) has a year left on his contract.


  1. Walt says:

    Lindberg would be a nice addition next season as a 3rd line player. All indications are that he is a very good two way player, and skilled defensively. This would push Pyatt to the 4th line, and I’m OK with that.

    The potential for a ROR deal, sounds better every day. Richards is MIA, I’ll have to put my POW-MIA magnet back on my car.

    As for Zucc, what can we lose, no other deals seem to be pending, so this kid may help on the PP!!

  2. mikeyyy says:

    Wow….this speaks volumes…and yes I Am reading into everything.

    Now these are just a series of coinkydinks, but….stay with me…

    The rangers have lost 4 straight, Torts is clearly not getting anywhere near what he should out of this squad.

    In the same week, the twitosphere got active with news that Adam Graves was out scouting for the Rangers, Brian Leetch got some airtime on MSG (not sure how often that happens) mentions across multiple blogs point to getting some ex rangers as specailty coaches.

    Beauk is down in the minors teaching the prospects.

    Now this. It was SOLIDLY clear on Zuke’s last outing that he was not a Torts player, and Torts admitted he couldn’t find a spot on the roster for him. Why would the GM actively want to sign someone back the coach doesn’t want……

    Enter conspiracy stage left….someone who would like to coach the Rangers likes Zuke….

    Messier is already in the org, maybe not as coach or maybe never as coach, but he is there.

    Gravy is being more active with the Rangers, as is Leetch…..

    What would be ideal is that Messier Head Coaches, Graves, Forward Coach, and Leetch Defense Coach.

    Tell me that is not the trifecta….Don’t forget to throw in Beuk as a solid coach.

    Given these 4 , they share 12 stanley cup rings between them all.

    I think either Messier or Graves could be a head coach. Leetch, defintely a teacher of the offensive rush, and Beuk a teacher of the shutdown role….and Messier, well I am sure he could still make players shit their pants with his stare from the bench.

    My conspiracy theory for the day…and no we didn’t land on the moon. 🙂

  3. Seahorse says:

    as an avid Ea sports NHL player Jan 1st in a regular season is the last day you can sign with someone who has been qualified before they have to sit out the rest of the season. Im wondering if there is that sort of date in this lockout shortened season that would prevent Zuccarello from comin back.

  4. Jess Rubenstein says:

    Why sure sign a player who the coach doesn’t have the confidence to play because the coach doesn’t believe the Hobbit can handle playing in traffic.

    Lindberg should be free to come over once his season is over but why would he? It makes no sense for him to come over and play in the AHL for next to nothing.

    Fasth would require the Rangers or Fasth to buy out the 2nd year of his SEL contract. That makes no sense for either side to do.

    3rd it is Glen Sather talking to Larry Brooks, think Sather would seriously tell Brooks anything of real value?

    • Walt says:


      I read your blog on prospects, and respect your opinion very much. Someone is putting this stuff out there to get the attention of Torts big time.

      My first post dealt only with Lindberg, and could you see him with his skills, assuming the write ups on him are indeed spot on, play in the bigs? This teams needs a spark, and maybe these are the reasons articles of this nature are written!

  5. Ray says:

    Zuke was a better fit on last year’s team, which had plenty of grit and perhaps too little skill – not so good on this team which seems to need more grit.
    Still, the Rangers are short of forwards and Zuke is excellent on the PP. I doubt Torts wants to see Mashinter again, the fact that Haley hasn’t gotten the call yet speaks volumes and Palmieri is off to a slow start in Hartford. Kreider is talented but he does not yet play Tortorella hockey. Tortorella is not likely to want Zuccarello if his favorite twelve forwards are healthy, but given two injuries, he might be the most appealing option,

  6. agentsmith says:

    If by the time zuc is available we still need him, we might as well have thomas get playing time. read between the lines.

    im not sure what sather is thinking. he had like 10 chances to stick.

  7. Bloomer says:

    Balloon Gaborik and Richards to make room for Zuke and the Swedes.

  8. Ncog says:

    Zook is another weak attempt to add scoring and is NOT THE ANSWER. They need bodies that go and stay at the opposition net. He is a hustler but too small. The Rangers are closer to the cellar than the penthouse and unless changes are made NOW…that is where they will end up…no goal scorers, few true battlers equal big trouble in TORTSVILLE…

  9. Michael says:

    NYR look like garbage in the shootout…Zucc could sit the bench for 58 min per night and still have earned them 2 pts so far this season.

    Line up Kreider, Miller, and Zucc and tell them to play high octane backyard hockey…none of this Torts dump and chase grind your face to the boards nonsense… Hold them accountable to nothing more than their +/- and let them play. As a 3rd line I think the freedom would turn them into monsters wearing other team’s bottom two lines out on a nightly basis.