Roster Moves

Strang: Fast, Zuccarello traveling to North America tomorrow

Per Katie Strang, the plan is to have both JesperĀ Fast and Mats Zuccarello travel to North America tomorrow. Both are coming off seasons in Sweden and Russia, respectively, so both are in game shape. It is unknown what the organization plans to do with them at the moment. They could both be sent to Connecticut of the AHL for a game or two, or could be inserted right into the lineup with the Rangers. The Rangers play Thursday, but that might be pushing it. If they are to play with the Rangers, Saturday against Montreal might be the earliest.

The popular scenario is that Zuccarello will be with the Rangers immediately –he has prior experience with most of the team and the coaching staff– and Fast will be sent to the AHL to adjust to the North American game. Scouts think Fast is ready, but there’s no need to rush him.

Also per Strang, Zuccarello’s contract is $700k, pro-rated for this year only. Fast’s entry-level deal, signed last June, is $900k for three years.

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  • I also like Zucc a lot. Torts seems to emphasize defensive responsibility with all of his players, and there are certain players whose contributions to the team are stricly-defensive and are still viewed in a positive light (rightfully so). Torts criticism of Zucc, from what I understand, is that he is a defensive liability, but if there are some players whose defensive contributions make up for their lack of offense, shouldn’t players who contribute in the opposite manner be viewed in an equally positive light? The idea is that the strengths in one area outweigh weaknesses in other areas. Zucc is highly creative and has great vision on the ice. Hopefully Torts uses Zuccarello effectively for his strengths instead of punishing him for his deficiencies.

  • I don’t see much from Fast. As I understand it, he needs to go back to Sweden on April 15, so we’re talking about less than three weeks. He’ll need a few games in the AHL to get into the flow. By that point, he can be little more than a distraction for the Rangers. The important thing is to see what he looks like so we can see where he should fit in next year.

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