Archive for Mats Zuccarello
In case you missed it, Mats Zuccarello skated this morning on his own before the New York Rangers took the ice for practice. Zucc has been out since Game 5 of the first round with a concussion, suffered after taking a shot from Ryan McDonagh to the skull.
While Zuccarello skating is always good to see, his return to the lineup is not imminent. This is normal progress, and I still wouldn’t expect him back this series. Concussions are always tricky, so it’s better to air on the side of caution instead of getting your hopes up.
Per Mats Zuccarello’s agent, the injured winger is back in light training (note: Norwegian article) after suffering what he believes to be a serious concussion. Zuccarello was struck in the side of the head by a Ryan McDonagh slap shot in Game Five against the Penguins. While there is no timetable for his return, light work is always a good sign. This should hopefully put an end to the silly rumor started by one of those “anonymous” accounts that his career was over.
S/T to @sirlondon_ for the tip.
Per Larry Brooks, injured winger Mats Zuccarello will be unavailable for the entire second round series against the Washington Capitals. Zuccarello was struck in the head by a Ryan McDonagh slap shot in Game Five against the Penguins.
This isn’t good, as Zucc is a core part of the Rangers offense. Martin St. Louis will take his role in the top-six, and the Rangers will need a lot from him.
In case you missed it, Mats Zuccarello is out indefinitely with an upper body injury. Rumors are that this is a mild concussion, but a concussion is a concussion as Zuccarello took a hard slap shot to the head off the stick of Ryan McDonagh. Assuming this is long term, because with concussions that’s the only assumption you can make, then the Rangers are out a top line forward, and there is no one in or out of the lineup that can replace his production.
Instead, the Rangers are going to need produce enough from other parts to make the Zuccarello absence more manageable. You can’t replace a top line forward, but you can –quoting Moneyball– replace him in the aggregate. Zucc hasn’t put up many points in the playoffs, but his value is with his speed and puck possession skill. The Rangers have someone like that readily available in Carl Hagelin.
At the optional skate today, injured defenseman Kevin Klein was on the ice. Klein has been out since March with a broken wrist and missed the entire first round series against the Penguins. Klein has been “nearing a return” for quite some time now.
Mats Zuccarello, who took a Ryan McDonagh shot to the noggin during Game Five, was not on the ice for the optional skate. Zuccarello didn’t return to Game Five, which is a rarity for injuries in the playoffs.
Update: Zuccarello is out indefinitely.
On the broadcast, MSG noted that Mats Zuccarello will not return to the game after taking a Ryan McDonagh slapshot to the face. You can view the GIF here. Jesper Fast took Zuccarello’s spot on his line, and the Rangers have been playing with 11 forwards.
It’s worth noting that this is the playoffs, and usually players come right back to the bench after something like this. Since Zuccarello isn’t returning, it may be serious.
People questioned the amount Glen Sather gave up for Marty St Louis, baulked at the cost of Rick Nash and panicked when Anthony Duclair was part of the Keith Yandle package. Move forward from each of those deals however and each star acquisition brought into the Rangers fold has made a tangible impact on the Rangers helping turn the organisation into an annual contender. (Of course, Keith Yandle’s true impact is still to be truly measured).
What has allowed Sather to make all these bold moves and show almost blatant disregard to the importance of early round draft picks is the way the Rangers roster has progressively become younger, more talented and well established. The Rangers have eight players who have scored at least 10 goals, five of which have only ever played for the Rangers, while Derick Brassard is just 27 and tied into the Rangers for the long term. That number of ten goal goalscorers doesn’t count JT Miller whose impact is now being felt consistently and who should hit double figures.
The New York Rangers and Mats Zuccarello have finalized a contract extension that will keep Zuccarello in New York. Zucc will get $4.5 million per year for the next four years, a modest raise and, more importantly, a discount for the Rangers. Zuccarello has a no-trade in his first year, but nothing thereafter.
Make no mistake, Zuccarello was going to get $5 million or more on the open market. He took a discount to remain with the club. He has been a top-line producer for some time now, and a must-keep for the Rangers.
So much has gone on around the league over the past few days it’s worth a brief muse because so much affects the Rangers.
Deadline prices are getting crazier by the year yet the talent level is increasingly worse. When a player (no matter how talented) who hasn’t played all season and is approaching 40 fetches a 2nd round pick and a conditional extra pick, prices are too rich for the Rangers. Kimmo Timonen was a fine player and can still play but you could see last year he had clearly lost a step. The Hawks felt he was worth the investment but the Rangers shouldn’t buy ‘a name player’ for the sake of it.
Who are the Rangers biggest threats in the East? The only team that intimidates me are Tampa. They can score in bunches, are quick and deep and Ben Bishop has often had the Rangers number regardless of the team he’s suited up for. Are they beatable? Yes, but the Rangers slack play in their own zone over the past few weeks would really be exposed by a team whose best player (Stamkos) is only just peaking.
At last season’s trade deadline, the Rangers played chicken with their captain. Ryan Callahan was demanding a relatively outrageous contract extension that the Rangers were extremely hesitant to hand out. He was looking for top line dollars to play a well rounded, third line game. Down in Tampa, the Bolts’ long-time captain wasn’t feeling the love anymore. A first-ballot Hall of Famer left off the Olympic roster by his own GM. It was a recipe for bad blood.
Glen Sather was forced to make a choice between a legitimate top 6 upgrade or letting a homegrown, valuable player walk for nothing if his contract demands did not back down into reasonable territory. Ultimately, I still believe that Sather gave up too much ancillary value in the form of two first round picks, but such is life. The point is, it was appropriate for Sather to make that call in the middle of a competitive run. Upgrades are upgrades. Draft picks can be sorted out later. Read More→