Jul
17

After the Tyler Ennis deal, how much can Mats Zuccarello expect?

July 17, 2014, by
Will #36 soon be celebrating a fat new deal? Image: Getty

Will #36 soon be celebrating a fat new deal? Image: Getty

Mats Zuccarello and his agent will have enjoyed the news out of Buffalo when the Sabres announced the new deal for Tyler Ennis this week. Ennis grabbed 43 points (21 goals) for an awful Sabres side who scored a meagre 150 goals all year. Ennis somehow managed to be a minus 25 but on such a bad side, it can be expected to some degree. While Ennis is (at least on paper) a more established NHL’er than Zuccarello, there are similarities.

Both players are on the smaller side, speedy forwards that are creative with the puck. Neither player would be considered a shoot first player but both have an underrated shot. Ennis’ star has been a slow burner but he’s certainly trending in the right direction – much like Zuccarello. Prior to last year, during his last full 82 game season (2010-11) Ennis grabbed 49 points and 20 goals and he’s averaged better than a point every other game in the two years in between.

Up until now, Zuccarello cannot match the career totals Ennis has put up although the season just completed was a particularly strong one for Zuccarello and far exceeds anything Ennis has done individually. With an already solid playoff CV to fall back on Zuccarello could realistically demand Ennis type money despite having different negotiating rights. With free agency looming for the Norwegian he should cash in.

Is Tyler Ennis worth 5 years and 23m? No. Is he worth it to the Sabres? That’s a different story. A player’s value to his club has a great part to play in any deal and this is why the Rangers will need to pay Zuccarello. He’s begun to establish himself in a major hockey market and can the Rangers really afford not to commit to such a creative player and important part of their roster?

Without Zuccarello the Rangers would lose a major chunk of skill and vision from their line-up and with Brad Richards gone and Marty St Louis approaching 40, the team cannot take any chances with the popular Norwegian. Zuccarello might not get five years or more than 20m dollars but don’t expect him to be signed on the cheap. Deals around the league are showing the way for the Rangers. Zuccarello will need plenty of dollars to be retained long term.

6 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    This will come down to who we want (and can pay). If we sign Zucc, it is either a 1 year deal giving him UFA status next year or a multi year (5 for $20) type deal. If we do the multi year path, someone will have to go. Sign and trade Brassard? Not without another center coming back. Maybe put Hags or Stall in a package.
    Things may have just become more complicated for Sather.

  2. Dave says:

    Right in line with the $4 million I have him pegged at.

  3. Bort says:

    He has an arbitration date set right?
    Is there any sense of what he would get there?

  4. supermaz says:

    If Sather screws this up, I will not be happy.
    Zuccarello must be signed long term.

  5. Bloomer says:

    We all know what a great passer SuperZuc is, but when he shoots more he really keeps the opponents’ defence guessing. Like Dave I had the Hobbit penciled in at 4 million per as well. I am however, not a big fan of long-term deals. It be best, even though I love how he plays, to sign him for 3-4 years max.

    • Mike K says:

      The main problem with long term deals is they’re usually given to players who are upwards of 29, so you’re getting them on the downswing. A five year deal for Zucc would end after his age 31 season. Even if he’s down to a 35-40 point player by then, $4MM would probably be fair given inflation.

      If he wants more than $4MM per, he needs to take less years. But I think 5/20 is solid.