Irresponsible RumormongeringOffseason

Poll: Should the Rangers trade Mats Zuccarello?

He’s like a tiny lion

When the Rangers made the organizational decision to re-build a flawed roster, there was immediate debate about the future of Mats Zuccarello.  At the time, he had 1.5 years left on his (very affordable) contract and had turned 30 in training camp.  I don’t think there was anyone out there claiming that Zucc was running out of gas, but it was fair to say there was some uncertainty about where he fit best in the future plans of the organization.

Fast forward to the present; the Rangers had traded almost all their pending UFA’s and pulled the trigger on trading their captain and number one defenseman, Ryan McDonagh to the Lightning in exchange for futures.  The Rangers were all in on the re-build.  Mats Zuccarello remains on the roster. 

It doesn’t take a Hockey Insider to tell you the team has two choices.  Trade Zuccarello or extend him.  Letting him walk as a UFA after next season is atrocious asset management, so you are down to the two scenarios.  Let’s walk through the merits of both.

Let’s start with extending him.  Obviously, this is all hypothetical, since we have no idea what type of salary or term demands that Zuccarello might have, but he has a history of taking reasonable contracts to play where he is comfortable.  So, I am going to assume this possibility exists (if it doesn’t it makes the whole decision a lot easier).

First things first, Zuccarello has endeared himself to the fanbase with not only his production, but his style of play.  New York loves the little guy with the huge heart and the fearless temperament. Aside from Lundqvist, he would be the most recognizable Ranger to come out of the core run of the last decade, and more than a few people have mentioned his name for the next Captain.

I’m not a huge believer in organizational continuity, but I do believe that (contrary to some opinions around here) that you cannot have a team full of 21-year-olds.  Being a professional is a difficult acclimation and the kids coming up will need a quality veteran or two to help them understand their responsibilities and the ins and outs of being a pro.  Having someone who has been through the wringer before can provide invaluable experience to young guys learning on the job.

What about trading him? Isn’t his value better maximized by trading him for more assets? I guess that depends.  Tom Urtz, Jr. over at Blueshirt Banter, wrote an extremelt in-depth article about Zuccarello’s trade value. You should check it out.  He argues that his production and trade comparables put his value somewhere around the 13th overall pick.  Based on this framework, one could argue that you could dangle something shiny in front of Peter Chiarelli and use Zucc as the foundation for a trade into the Top 10.

Of course, if these were real world offers for Zucc, I don’t think you could realistically turn it down, from an asset management perspective.  To take an undrafted free agent signing, who then gave you years of quality production at an affordable cost and flip him in his final contract year for a high first round pick is an asset management home run.

That’s the no brainer scenario, though.  I think we would all agree that the Draft or the deadline is the most likely timing for a Zuccarello trade.  The deadline is a crap shoot, because depending on the desperation level of another club, his value could tilt in either direction, and it’s a huge risk for the team unless an extension option is in their back pocket.  So, let’s focus on the Draft.  If Chiarelli wants to Chiarelli all over himself or Jim Nill feels that a winger is his missing piece, you pull the trigger, no questions asked.  But what if someone comes offering two seconds? Or a second this year and a first next year?

These situations call for some crowdsourcing.  Therefore, I put the discussion to all of you.  Should the Rangers trade Zuccarello at the Draft?  Make sure to vote in the poll below and have at it in the comments section.  Hopefully this will help you get through your Friday with some good old fashioned, hot stove debate.  Enjoy the weekend everyone!


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    • I agree. At this point we don’t have any proven high end talent left so what’s the sense in keeping a 30 year old left handed winger around? I love Zucc but since he took that puck to the head, he hasn’t played quite the same way.
      For a top 15 draft pick, I’d do it. Otherwise I’d keep him and extend him for another 2-3 years.
      Thing is tho, Zucc loves NY and wanted to play here. If the Rangers trade him or attempt to trade him, there’s a good chance he heads home or to a European league closer to it.

  • It’ll be sad to see Zucc go but if another 1st-rd pick can be dug up for him I’ll drive him to the airport myself.

    Off topic a bit—Pekka Rinne is a garbage playoff goalie. What a disgraceful effort in a game 7, he clearly couldn’t handle the pressure and looked like he wanted no part of that game. Someday Nashville fans will realize how much Rinne has cost them over the years—he’s been good in two of his seven playoff years, horrible in five of them. Happy that Winnipeg won, I like that team.

    • Love them as well……That is one BIG team, with plenty of skill, and hard nosed at that. Wouldn’t it be nice to field a team like that on MSG ice?????????

    • Rinne seems terribly streaky to me overall throughout his career, but yeah…that was not a good game 7 effort at all. I would have been fine with either of those two moving on as I have no bad blood for either, but I think the Jets not only earned it, but make for the better story as well. I personally like watching their brand of physical hockey, because it isn’t just going for punishing hits or fighting, and they aren’t often dirty – as my buddy noted, one of the things they use their collective size very well for is to box out and hold for support to carry the puck away. Little things like that – physicality that translates to the result and not just physicality for physicality’s sake a la Glass/McLeod type play – I hope we see those types of aspects more emphasized with the bigger fellas on the Rangers next season.

    • Saros was not much better either. But Rinne really hung them out to dry on those first 2 goals. Just awful. But the team in front of him was not great either. I am a bit shocked about the Pred’s losing. But The Jets won that series fair and square and they were the better team.

  • “First things first, Zuccarello has endeared himself to the fanbase with not only his production, but his style of play. New York loves the little guy with the huge heart and the fearless temperament.”

    Let me start with the fact that I love the little guy, gives his all, always positive, and seems to love it here.

    The article in question is spot on, if there are offers that bring us a great pick, and or other assets, we have to make the deal. If JG doesn’t, and sticks with Zucc because of emotional reason, he would be committing malpractice, and should be let go. HOFer Wayne Gretzky was traded, as was Mess, Espo, Ratelle, and the list could go on forever, what makes anyone think that Zucc shouldn’t? He is fun to watch, always smiling, gives his all, and backs down from no one.

    On the other side of the coin his production is declining, has made it a point to let anyone who would listen that his friends were all traded, and he didn’t care for it at all. When he said the things he did at the trade deadline, you could tell by his body language, he’s not a happy camper, and that could rub off if one isn’t careful. Bottom line, as much as I love him, and his game, when the right offer comes along, we have to make the move. If that day comes soon, I’ll be the first in line to thank him for all he gave to the Ranger jersey, and many fond memories!!!!!!!!!!

      • Reen

        I have to offer a new deal for two reasons. First, depending on the amount, I sign him for some three years, and if no offer is made we still own him. Secondly, his value is enhanced in the trade market if there is term on his existing contract………………..

        • You need to clear roster space for the next generation; You move them up and move the old ones out. Extend him? Maybe a year if the new guys are found wanting right away.

          • In a typical rebuild slated to take years, I would be more apt to agree. Just my opinion, but I do not think that is what Gorton and Co. have in mind. IMO, if they fancy themselves legitimate contenders again season after next, and given what at the moment looks like a significant depth issue at wing, then it changes the script from the usual rebuild approach for an asset like Zucc who is not old enough to be a significant age concern by the time they may envision the window opening back up. I wouldn’t be throwing around four/five year extension offers at this point if I was Gorton, but I might be testing the waters on a two-three year range at this point. I’m not concerned with Jesper Fast’s P60 production in relation to Zucc; the former is quite often the beneficiary of someone else’s creation of offense, whereas the latter skews to the creator side of the equation.

            To Walt’s point about Zucc’s candor regarding losing basically his best friends on the roster in Hags then Brass…it merits consideration, although I’d hope Zucc also realizes that hockey is a job like most others where you don’t get to choose your co-workers or boss most of the time. However, if that is something that Gorton is feeling will be a roadblock, then indeed, that is the type of stuff us fans may never fully see but can count for quite a bit behind closed doors.

          • Fast’s P1-60(so goal & 1st assist) higher than Zucc as well.

            Zucc ain’t ready for the glue factory, but he needs to go down the lineup at a minimum.

          • I’m familiar with P1 stats also, haha. And, I hear you. I’m a big advanced metrics fan (although, these aren’t much advanced in my book…they are compared to some other fans’ books, though).

            That said, this is one where my eye test pulls the override card. Very few times have I ever legitimately exclaimed “WOW!” after something Jesper Fast has done. He is very responsible, and is very good at capitalizing on the opportunities given to him. I do not dislike Fast’s game, if applied correctly to the on-ice product. That said…he’s still a prototype bottom six skill set in my book, and Zucc is still more the second-line set as far as I am concerned. While I admit I am biased towards Mats if it has to be between the two, I’ll still take a slickly creative secondary assist over a no-brainer “did what he should have, there” primary assist.

            Also to note, I fully agree with those who said Zucc seemed a bit off last season. I hope that is the exception, not the rule…but I can’t say for sure, honestly. I just can’t shake the concept that with the team in shambles, it may have affected Zucc more mentally speaking than it ideally would, given his apparent sensitivity to the tone of the locker room.

          • Don’t make me go all Ray on you and start using +/- as though it matters a lick, Reen. LOL

          • Zuc has the same illness that Hayes had, until Hayes found the elixir, it’s called shooting the puck when you have a good scoring chance.

            It’s a wonder cure for a lack of goals per 60.

  • You said it and so did Gorton, you can’t have all kids that are all around the same age.

    Taking additional existing talent away from this team will be tough. I really don’t get the feeling that management is aiming for another lottery pick next year.

    Deal from strength. Our strength this year is the number of picks we have. I would like to see them consolidate a few of our later 1st round and 2nd rnd picks to try to move up without taking a top 6 roster player from our team.

    I would be happy if we can get to the 8th or 10th. Having 2 picks back to back would allow us to go FW and D in a deep draft and more of a chance that we get someone that falls + the player we are targeting at 9th.

    Now with those two players in the pipeline (2yrs away), plus Chytil, Andersson and all the other we picked up in the great purge, you try for a top FA (Kovi, Tavares) and then you reevaluate the team and the prospects progression next year. If need be, you do another purge at the trade deadline (assuming we still suck)

    That gives you 1 1/2 seasons of the “rebuild” with a pretty decent restocking of the pipeline, no cap issues, etc… The following year Shisorkin is over, kids are promoted for a development year (assuming we still suck) but we still have enough vets to help and to hand over the following year to the ‘kids’ we have after 2yrs development, 6+ 1st round picks, plus whatever we get from the second purge.

  • Would Carolina except a trade (or is it even a possiblity) of Zucc. and two first rounders for the number 2 over-all pic they have in the first round? Hey, we’ll even throw in Gilmore.

    • No, not with who is slated to be picked second!!!!!!!!!!

      Would you give up a chance to draft either Andrei Svechnikov, or Filip Zadina?????? These are franchise type players that don’t come around every year…………

    • If I’m Carolina, that second pick is damn near untouchable. I want your best legit blue-chip prospect (if not your best two), first rounder, first born children, arms, legs, and kitchen sinks. It’s one thing when you get the second pick early on in what can be expected to be a string of full-on miserable rebuild years, and you may be able to see more value in quantity over quality in moving the asset for several others. The position they are in however, I’d already be ordering Svechnikov bobbleheads for promotional nights and installing his name plate in the locker room. They are heading out of their rebuild, have a fair amount of promising younger players on the roster and coming through the pipeline, and they just got gifted a player of a potentially generational caliber, for nothing at all. That is a mighty, mighty valuable asset in their particular position. Lucky $%@&ers.

  • On one hand you can get assets for zucc on the other hand , you will need someone who plays all in like he does that is a vet to help lead the team.

    I would keep him, out a C on his sweater and then consider it going into the next trade deadline.

    • I like Mike(y)! Its a good draft but its not a draft of the entire Oilers roster of Mess and Gretz! We have enough picks. Need some adults in the room next year. Get Kovi, buy Zucc at favorable # , and do as Mikey says.
      PS: I will say, as Walt did, sure would be nice to have a skilled, nasty team like Winny….

      • WPG simply use their overall size effectively, and their system features that as a core component. If the Rangers had drafted as high as Winnipeg generally has in the last decade, I think they’d also have more of the high skill/size combo players. Not that the Rangers are an overly small team to begin with, to note – they have more players over 6′ or 200lbs. than the Bruins do, yet the Bruins have a reputation for being tougher. A lot of this comes down to narrative, frankly. If the Rangers had a rat like back in the Avery days, I bet gasbags like Mike Milbury would still be verbally flatulating about their grit, snarl, intimidation factor, whatever.

        As I said in another thread recently, I believe that, if the next coach encourages it to even the slightest degree, we will automatically see more physicality from the Rangers next season. I think it simply was never an emphasized part of AVs game plan. His idea was to have one low-skill face-puncher handle it all…as we all know, that’s not what does the trick in today’s NHL. Scarecrows don’t work anymore, if they ever even did.

        Also, to the original point of Mikey’s post…I’d keep Zucc unless the return was pretty solid, as well. I just don’t think they are/have been getting great offers for him, otherwise I don’t know why he is still on the roster. I can’t imagine it is pure sentimentality, because I don’t think McD would have been shipped out if the ties were quite that strong on that end of things. He may simply be more valuable to the Rangers front office than the returns they are seeing on the table for him so far. Nothing wrong with that.

        • Egelstein

          Mike Milbury would still be verbally flagellating ……….

          Man I just love your writing style, and choice of words, this is classic, keep it coming……..LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

        • WPG simply uses their overall size effectively & their system features that as a core component.
          translation WPG has a large,fast,skilled,hard hitting team,with grit,snarl & intimidation factor that is very hard to play against.
          If the NYR had drafted generally as high WPG they’d have more high skilled/sized combo players.
          I’m not so sure about that,I think you have to give WPG’s Mgmt & scouting Dept. credit here
          The NYR have more 6′ 200 lb players than the Bruins do,yet the Bruins have a reputation for being tougher.
          The Bruins ARE a much tougher team than the NYR,while also being more skilled at least for the time being.
          As for the rest of your post,I pretty much agree with you.

          • I don’t discredit WPGs management at all, but frankly, you should be pretty good with the picks they’ve had. 13 1st rounders since the 2008 draft, 3 of which were in the top 5 and another 4 that were from 6-10. Slightly different than what the Rangers have had to work with – granted, Sather was sending first round picks out like they carried disease for a while there, and that’s nobody’s fault but his. Nonetheless, had the Rangers kept every first rounder in that range, how many would have been top 5? Top 10?

            If you don’t have a contender after a run of picks like that – not just who you drafted, but also looking at how those players were then used in trades to further bolster the roster – you have mismanaged your assets. If you look at their draft history overall in that time frame, they have not been cashing it in with brilliant late round gems – it has mostly been their early round picks that have remained on the team and successful, or turned into other assets that blossomed. They did what they should have – built a contender after years of mostly favorable draft draws.

            The same exact roster Winnipeg has could easily be limited by a system in terms of physicality. It’s a big roster, no denying it. There’s no Marchand there, though. There’s no Tkachuk. There’s no Gudas. Certainly not a Gudas and a Simmonds on the ice at the same time. There’s no Letang. They do it the right way, and the terms “grit” and “snarl” quite often get applied to or associated with rats, pugilists, and dirty players. That ain’t these Jets. They aren’t hit happy, they don’t rack up PIM, and they don’t try to intimidate with attitude. They just play very sound physical hockey.

            The Bruins aren’t as tough as their reputation is, in my opinion. Marchand alone severely inflates that reputation, again in my opinion. TB pretty much smoked them in that series, and TB is not known for their edge or surly demeanor. I’d take TB’s smaller roster and higher skill level over what the Bruins feature eight days a week. I’m actually not quite sure how the Leafs even managed to let them out of the first round, frankly. Obviously the Bruins fared better than the Rangers last season, but that’s not saying much. My point was, the Rangers have the size to be tougher…they just need to have a system that features that aspect, and a little fire lit under their asses. Soft players don’t usually even make it to the NHL unless they are setting the score sheet on fire regularly. I refuse to believe that somehow the Rangers are just a bunch of guys who sneaked into the NHL while being sissies in the process.

          • Thoughtful response,we may view things slightly different,but we’re rooting for the same team.
            I definitely don’t think they’re sissies,but would like us to be an all around tougher team like WPG & hopefully we will be going foward.
            When I think of toughness on the Bruins,I’m thinking Chara,Miller,Backes etc,not Marchand,he’s more of an agitator who happens be a great player who I can’t stand.

    • “…you will need someone who plays all in like he does that is a vet to help lead the team…”

      What’s the point in trading Zuccarello for someone who plays like him? I like the man, and without being sentimental about it, he has done a great deal of good for the team. And 30 years of age is not exactly over the hill.

      Like you, I would definitely keep him on the roster.

  • Zuccarello’s situation is a complex one and there is no simple answer to the question.

    First off, I think that some of the trade value estimates for Zuccarello are inflated. I think he is one of those players whose intangibles may make him more valuable to the club than he is in a trade. Over the years we have been used to outstanding effort and dazzling play making by the Hobbit. But, at times last season he didn’t seem like quite the same guy. The fire seemed a bit less intense. That could be due to other circumstances and not due to a change in attitude or effort. But in terms of trade value, his numbers and importantly, his age and size might make a lot of clubs think twice about offering a lot for him.

    I think that you weigh offers you get for him against his value and against his likely contract demands/expectations. You have to take his age into consideration due to his contract expiring soon. There is no question that a content Zuccarello would be a role model for the young players. The question is whether the Rangers should invest in him long term at this stage of his career.

    • Agreed Peter. The answer is “it depends”. You explore all options, possible trade or possible short term extension (2 years) … you also consider whether his trade value makes him more valuable to keep around until the next trade deadline, etc. There’s no point trading him for anything less than a 1st rounder — and that only in the case where it’s a 1st rounder that gets you a kid they really want.

      I think almost everyone on this team gets a slight pass for last year given the mismanagement by the coaching staff, I mean Zucc still scored over 50 points … not to mention Gorton traded away his center (Stepan) for the last couple of years. I think he’s more than capable of having a bounce back year and I’m sure a lot of GMs will see it the same way. He’s a 60 point guy — and if paired with an elite center, possibly more.

  • i wouldn’t trade him now since he wants to be there for the rebuild which is working and he is one of the leaders but age like anything is catching up to him so you give him a center that can set him for the big goals like brass used to do before he got traded

  • From DobberHockey:

    “Could Dougie Hamilton really be on the move again? For some reason, his name is popping up in trade rumours. This seems insane considering Hamilton is a bona fide top-pair, 24-year old defenceman signed through his prime at a very reasonable cap hit. Alas, it was insane that he was traded the last time.

    As a Hamilton keeper owner, seeing him in a different franchise that will play him 24-plus minutes a game rather than the 20:20 per game he’s averaged in Calgary would be nice. He’s as consistent as they come among fantasy blue liners and his upside still hasn’t been reached. Calgary desperately needs to re-stock the prospect pool, particularly among their forwards. That’ll be hard to do without a pick until the fourth round in this year’s draft. Maybe Hamilton for a good scoring winger and a couple lesser picks makes sense. Again, though, it seems crazy to trade him. We’ll see.”

    Zuc is probably a bit more weathered than Calgary would like. But we certainly have the picks to pair with Zuc to put an offer together. I do wonder….

    • Hatrick, you also have to consider that Calgary is in a win now mode after what can only be described as a down year.

  • More from Dobber:

    “Sticking in Alberta, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Sun has been reporting that Peter Chiarelli is actively shopping the 10th overall pick for immediate help. Given that their glaring need is scoring on the wings (go ahead, make your jokes) and more defensive depth, I can’t help but think the scoring is going to be prioritized. The 10th overall pick is not going to land you a superstar blue liner like Erik Karlsson and the pieces they’d have to add to make it work would just deplete the roster, so going for a top-end scoring winger makes more sense. Here are a few that stand out”

    Article lists Pacioretty, Skinner & Zucker. Zucarello does not score the goals that those three do, however he is no slouch and is a better feeder than any of them who would immediately bolster their top 6. Zuc and 26 or 28-31 for 10 something that would be considered?

  • I have thought about this a bit, He might be just the right linemate for a guy like Andersson, as Zucc looks to pass and plays pretty good defense. He also might be able to lineup with Chytil, get him the puck and get dirty in the corners.

    With that said, the team cannot be all youngsters, and if I have to make a decision on extending Zucc, or bringing Kovalchuk in here, I would stick with Zucc.

    What if the team with the 4th pick would take Zucc and our 9th for that 4th pick\. Do you make that deal?

  • Both this post and the one by Urtz fail to mention that MZA played most of this season injured. Trading him now would be trading him at his lowest value. This is par for the course though, as our management seems to love trading our top assets (Step, JTM, and McD) for pennies on the dollar.

    • Statistics wise Zucc’s season was pretty much on point. 53 points and 16 goals is sort of what we can expect. He’s been very consistent but not spectacular, as he’s had only one 20-goal season.

      He has endeared us with his grit and feisty play, but he will be 31, and some dummy GM might overpay for a 50 point winger who (because of his age) is on the decline. Can anyone justify a long term contract for this guy as he enters his age 32 season? I thought that’s why we traded McD!

    • He missed two games, you’re telling me after they waved the white flag they wouldn’t have given him time off like they did w/ McDonagh?

  • If Zucc wants out, take the best offer, but if not, he would be helpful with the young centers and wings. I like the guy, brings skill, and a good attitude.

  • Zucc has always been a pass first kinda guy – sometimes it would drive me nuts -that extra pass cost us a few goals – however, you get a bona fide goal scorer by his side, anything is possible. He played really well with Evgeni Malkin when they played together during the mini-lockout (Russia) and excels in many areas, but how do you tell the new faces in the locker room, “welcome, I lost all my friends”. Lol! My vote was if there was an equitable and fair deal, let’s move on with it.

  • If I’m dealing him, I want a 2019 1st from a team that still is going to stink next year that thinks they will be better. Like Buffalo, Carolina

  • Trades should be evaluated on one basis only: Do they improve the team? Figuring that out is why GM’s get ulcers, not figuring it out is why they get fired. With Zucc, it’s a typically tricky situation. He brings a lot to the team that doesn’t show up in the stats (attitude, ability to do all the little things well, etc.) that can’t be replaced easily, and he’s loved by the fans. On the other hand, if some GM is willing to offer a true 30+ goal sniper, or a solid #1 defenseman, how can you say no? Gorton just has to stay busy on the phones, seeing what’s out there, and hope someone on the other end is willing to work with him.

    • Mats just isn’t the type of player that usually commands high trade value. That is no way a knock on his skill level – it’s more a commentary on his skill set. Slick assist men are usually only in high demand for teams who already have the scorers, and feel that a high-end facilitator opens up those scorers enough to put them over the top. Maybe a team like the Pens would fancy him right now, but they surely wouldn’t gut the farm for him. Trying to look at it as an opposing GM, despite knowing that Zucc is the type of player to produce more value than just what the counting stats say, I just don’t think I would offer much more than a decent-but-not-top-flight prospect and a second round (in this draft, anyway) pick. If that’s as high as the offers have gone, then I can see why Gorton has kept him. Offers like that, or even a little stronger of course would be the hope, might be available next deadline just the same.

  • How long does one have to be in the league to be considered a veteran and be an example for the rookies? Haven’t Hank, Kreider, Zbad and Hayes been around long enough to know what it takes? Zucc has value and if traded, these are the ones who will be expected to lead. Keeping Zucc for leadership doesn’t seem to outweigh his value in a trade. His play might.

    • Hank seems like a more than willing leader, but he’s not on the bench with the guys of course, and isn’t up the ice for the in-game leadership opportunities; those in-the-moment instances where leadership can shine. Mika and Hayes both seem more like B personalities to me, not as animated or engaged – at least on the ice and the bench. Kreider I think is a solid example, though – he seems quite engaged with his teammates.

  • I love the Z-man – he is a heart and soul guy.

    He reminds me a bit of MSL albeit much less skilled but much more feisty. He is clearly someone you want on your team. IMO – He is the only guy that has any “C” material left on the team

    But – if you can get a top 15 pick for him it would be tough to pass up.

    Would Buffalo take a 9th, a 15th, and a twenty something and whatever pick we got from the Bolts for The #1.

    Probably not but if you can turn the 15th into a top 5 pick then maybe a #5, a #9, and the Bolts pick could open some doors.

    And speaking of Bolts and trades….

    Saturday’s clincher in Tampa was something special to watch. It was a huge team game by the Bolts and outside of Vasilevsky it would be difficult to pick the three stars of the game. There were some guys on that team that played just outstanding games and their names are familiar, Miller, Callahan, Girardi, Stralman,

    Watching JT and Girardi excel in Tampa just makes me sick as a Rangers fan. Miller fits like a glove and has been utilized to the best of his abilities by Cooper.
    Girardi is back to his dependable self and is turning in solid game after game performances. Again it’s utilization and of course the system is different.

    Lucky for me I have Bolts tix but as a die-hard Ranger fan it is distressing.

    We have a saying down here in Tampa – Stanley Needs a Tan!!! Let’s go Bolts!!!

    Hey wouldn’t Zucc look real good with a Lightning Bolt across his chest????

    • Jon Cooper is a good coach, he outcoached Vigneault in the 2015 semifinals. Not surprising in the least that he’s getting value out of Miller. Still, I’m expecting Miller to cost Tampa a game in the next series with a defensive lapse.

      • Maybe. No one’s perfect. But even if he does make a mistake, I bet Cooper doesn’t nail him to the bench for that mistake.

  • I think an on ice culture change is needed and he is part of that pass first, cinderella on ice culture. I dont care about any of that likabiity garbage. Id take any reasonable offer at the draft.

    • Agentsmith your words are harsh. However sometimes hearing the truth is painful. I like the Winnipeg team. Their GM has done an incredible job! They do not have a player resembling Matt which IMO does not negate his talents. If someone thinks he will lead this team to the cup I believe they are wrong. Like you opined, leave the love at the door and bring home the Cup.
      I do trust JG to make the right deal, and wager there will be one, and Gordie to hit the right choices without Slats input (please lord). That is a run-on sorry, working.

    • I’m willing to bet JG has already gotten “reasonable” offers for Zucc. We’ve heard some noise about a deal with Calgary that just didn’t fully materialize, and sometimes those near-trade rumors that are more than just fan fiction can be like cockroaches…if you know of one, there may be others.

      With any luck, we will get a huge on-ice “culture” change from the next coach. The Rangers weren’t pass-happy under Torts. They became so in my recollection in AVs second season when he really made the system his own. I think folks blame the players way too much for the system, when it comes to this aspect. If AV was cool with flinging it into the slot on a sub-optimal look and seeing what happens, I think we’d have seen a lot more of that – even if that isn’t necessarily the first instinct for a player like Zucc. Nothing about his system featured that style of play. If a rebound happened to be prime for the picking, of course they were gonna try to bang it in. Creating rebounds by taking the shot whenever the player could see the goalie, however, was not a core part of the equation.

  • I think it really comes down to what you can get for him. He’s got a good contract for what he brings to the table. He can be a solid leader for us to help the young kids. I saw the article about him drawing the 13th overall. If that was possible I would probably pull the trigger. If you can get draft picks for next year I would consider that too. You can’t draft everyone in the same here. You need to spread the prospects out. I think there’s a good chance we sign Kovalchuk in the off season to help fill some of the leadership void. And we can sign other veterans if needed.( not sure you can get his contract value though) I do have a hard time signing him for more than a year or 2 after this one. I would definitely not trade him to open up a rooster spot. But if the offer makes sense, you have to do it.

  • Zuccarello was on Viasat sports tv in Norway last night. When asked about his future he said there’s a chance he gets traded this summer, but more likely he stays with the Rangers next season. He had a meeting with Gorton, and should know more about the plans than any of us. Personally I think they want to keep him as one of the leaders, maybe even the next captain.

  • Zuccarello was on Viasat sports tv in Norway last night. When asked about his future he said there’s a chance he gets traded this summer, but more likely he stays with the Rangers next season. He had a meeting with Gorton, and should know more about the plans than any of us. Personally I think they want to keep him as one of the leaders, maybe even the next captain.

    • Thanks for passing along – good to know, specifically that he met with Gorton and that was his feeling as a result rather than just his own personal thoughts only.

      • Sure thing…also in that meeting they agreed that he shouldn’t play for Norway at the World Championships, because he has some health issues including a sore knee. He’ll rest for a while and then follow a program to get 100% healthy by next season. Something else interesting is that Lundqvist wants him to stay, they are close friends and support each other on a daily basis.

        • I fully support the teams when it comes to their concerns about the international play. I get the players’ desires to represent their countries, and I am sympathetic to that. That said, I don’t think I’d risk it, personally, as a player, unless I had already made my mint via contract(s) yet was still young enough to rebound quickly. I love America, but America can survive without me subjecting myself to some sort of completely fluke injury like Staal’s eye injury way back when (not during international play of course, but could happen on any rink at any time and anywhere is the point).

          As for Hank and Mats, while I don’t know as I’ve seen it confirmed in those terms previously, it doesn’t surprise me. Both underdogs to start their careers, and have been through a lot together.

    • Thanks Chris that is very interesting to hear.

      If any of you have watched the Jets in the playoffs, the play of Paul Stasny is a pretty good argument for having a quality veteran player to help lead a club with a lot of young players. He plays with a couple of young players on his line and has been terrific in the playoffs. Retaining Zucc can’t be bad, it just depends on how long of a contract and how much cash they tie up.

      • If they extend his contract he’ll probably take another cap friendly deal. To stay with the Rangers seems more important to him than the money, but I think he’ll be looking for 3-4 years.

      • u see anyone on nyr with caliber of laine scheifele or even wheeler ? imo we should keep dealing until we land them because there wont be any cup with a bunch of 50 point guys. (partially whats holding the preds back asides from goaltending)

        • Yeah bud, dealing has gotten us those types of players in the past, huh?

          As said previously…take a lap. Geez. Cool those jets, mang.

        • Agentsmith—Which sport do you watch when you think you’re watching hockey? Because hockey teams now in the 21st Century are made up of a collection of 50-point scorers. The more the merrier. With even a mildly decent performance out of Pekka Rinne, Nashville wins the series against the Jets. And in the Finals against Pittsburgh Rinne was horrible too. How’d Dallas do this year with doubly elite Seguin and Benn? Oh that’s right—they didn’t make the playoffs, just like NYR.

          A whole lot of good Conor McDavid’s elite talent has done Edmonton, eh? Or Ovechkin in Washington, eh?

  • #1, not one asset is being traded just for the sake of a trade, so I voted that it depends on the deal for Zuc. That being said, he WILL be shopped to find out what the Rangers can get. Why Hamilton is available is beyond me, but the Rangers should be knocking on Calgary’s door with Zuc as the lead since the Flames need scoring. Spooner and the back end first round picks should be in play as well. I think if Zuc is traded it is for an impact NHL player, not picks.

    #2. I also think that the Rangers dangle Zuc at Winnipeg as they could use a lefty winger like Zuc, along with other pieces, for Trouba.

    #3. My buds saying Kovy to the Rangers is just about a done deal. Does this impact Zuc? You bet it does.

    #4. The new leadership: Kreider, Shatty, Zib (if he’s still here), and the mystery NHL star(s) that may be coming this offseason, including Kovy and if the unthinkable happens, Tavares (who will be given the C if he’s here).

    I put trading Zuc at 50/50. Depends on the NHL players that the Rangers could fetch for him.

    • 1. Agree fully, brother. If Zucc is moved, I absolutely see it as likely to be as a component for an impact-now asset, ideally on the other end of the ice.

      2. I definitely think a player like Trouba could be that impact-now asset. Hamilton, as mentioned above, also.

      3. I feel it’s been a “done deal” since the initial reports. Seems like the worst-kept secret in hockey to me, frankly! That said, I think a move for Kovalchuk is honestly fairly low-risk. He’s gonna bring it in his first chance back in The Show, on a “show-me” contract. If the Rangers falter overall, meh. Just ship him at the deadline, upon which time he should have some good counting stats, even if the team is struggling.

      4. Lias Andersson and Brett Howden. These guys are the future of the character of NYR, methinks.

      • 1., 2., 3., 4. It’s like we’re in each other’s head my friend.

        From what I have heard, Howden is future Captain material. Andersson is a potential strong leader too. Agree 100%.

        Kovy is going to bring an edge to the Rangers that Gorton is looking for. It appears it is probably him over Nash.

        • I really dig Nash’s 200 foot game. Always have. Commensurate three-zone hockey player. Hell of a guy.

          That said, if the price is comparable in term and dollars and the Rangers are bent on bringing in a vet winger at this time, I say let’s give Kovy a spin. Why not? Money isn’t an obstacle, even if Gorton goes goo-goo for Tavares. The financial situation is fluid. It seems that shoot-first is something we’ve all thirsted for a little bit more in recent years, and Kovy figures to provide that. You put him on the second line across from Zucc and with Lazy Hayes in the middle…my brain adores the possibilities. With JT in the mix bumping Mika to 2C – which I think is a super-longshot, to note – then, the possibilities become even more juicy, especially if a defender like Skjei ends up on the second unit due to other acquisitions.

          The overall permutations of the possibilities are insane. Gorton is totally in the driver’s seat, right now, and he’s got a lot of HP ready to go at the behest of his gas pedal. It’s gonna be an interesting summer in any case, that’s for sure!

          • The first clue for Tavares would be the trading of Zib or Hayes. Both cannot be on the team if Tavares is coming for cap reasons. If Zib is traded, then oh boy, lol.

            Kovy is a game changer. He’s (still) electrifying and has a shot that the Rangers have not seen since Jagr. He also plays a mean game, unlike Nash. I love Nash but Gorton is obsessed with changing the attitude of the team. They believe, and rightfully so, that they were to easy to play against. Kovy for Nash is a perfect example of that direction of change.

            I am so excited for this offseason, probably the most exciting for the Rangers in quite some time. It starts with the draft. The #5 with AZ is definitely in play.

          • Tony & Egelstein

            Great posts, and in full agreement with you both. Like you both, I feel Nash is a NICE guy, but never played with any edge at all, Wonderful 200 foot game, kills penalties, good for some 60-65 points per year, but never had a mean streak, which is his short fall. Kovi will change the attitude in the locker room, will want to prove a point, and will mentor the Russian kids, what more can we ask for???????? Let the changes begin!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt, Kovy has wanted to play for the Rangers for years but circumstances never worked out until now. So he’s:

            Motivated to come back to the NHL.
            Motivated to play for the Rangers.
            Motivated to lead the kids/team.

            I’m excited to have him here. Can still play, skate, etc.

    • 1. Agreed with everything you said. My only question is I think Calgary would move Hamilton if Hayes is included over Spooner.

      2. I think its pretty obvious that the Rangers are going to try and improve the defense group. Adding Hamilton or Trouba would completely change things. As of right now the group of defenseman outside a few is pretty unimpressive.

      3. I think Kovy is going to be a great addition. What’s your speculation on his contract length? I’m thinking its probably going to be a 3 year deal.

      4. I have no problem trading Zib if Tavares is coming here. I like Zib, but he’s definitely in the lower tier of 1st line centers. Tavares is the real deal.

      • Hamilton is going to cost a lot, if he is even available, which is mind boggling to believe if he is. If I were Calgary, it starts with Chytil and the #9 pick. At which point, it’s a not a discussion, so no deal.

        I would focus on Trouba, Spurgeon, DeHaan, etc. Trouba, unless there’s a parting of the Red Sea will be traded. Problem is that 30 teams will be in on him, starting with Toronto, or at least they should be. I’ve heard the Hawks will be big on him as well.

        Spurgeon, as discussed on the Banter, is small but he can play. His talents are in line with what Gorton is trying to do and he may come cheap as the Wild are a mess cap wise and looking to shed salary.

        DeHaan is an interesting case. Injuries are going to keep teams from going all in on him but he can play. That type of acquisition may be the way to go, meaning a good D man as opposed to going for a top pair player, that you can add to Skjei, Shatty, Pionk, and via miracle rebound, Brendan Smith.

        2 years for Kovy with an option for a 3rd. Figure $5M to $6M per.

        If Zib is traded before July 1st then that should tell you something: 1) Tavares is on the way or 2) The Rangers are incredibly dumb thinking that Hayes, Svenwhatever, Spooner, Andersson, and Chytil as their centers will be good enough.

        • No effing way Gorton gives Kovy 2, let alone 3 years at $5-6mm. It runs counter to the concept of cap flexibility Gorton has exhibited.

          If he gets hurt, full cap hit.
          If you buy him out, full cap hit.

          You give him a 1 yr deal.
          You give him $650k paragraph 1 salary. You give him $3mm signing bonus.
          You give him $2.85mm in performance bonuses that he has to earn. Can earn up to $1mm from the league on top of that.

          If he’s killing it and the team is doing well, have him sign a 1yr extension.
          If the team stinks and he’s killing it, you move him for a $3.65mm cap hit but just a fraction of wages for a pick or prospect.
          If he stinks, you’re out the $3.65mm

          • I will be, because it’s profoundly stupid to commit to a deal like that when a contract can be designed to limit downside risk and max out a contract beyond what he’d get on the open market.

            I’d believe it of Slats, but not Gorton. This is CBA 101.

          • Te bottom line is that Kovy would automatically be the most talented player on the team and he plays with an edge to his game. That’s why they will be signing him.

          • I’ve never had a problem with the player, only a contract that isn’t a 1yr deal.

  • In my opinion JT will not be a Ranger even if he does hit the market.
    He’s a quality individual and will not disrespect the Islanders and play for their most promenent rival.
    Furthermore, if he leaves the Islanders he’ll be looking for a team that is close to, if not a Cup contender. And people we still have a ways to go.

    I have faith in JG, I can not understand how some of us condemn the trades he has made before he makes a pick with the draft picks he received, and the majority of youngsters he received haven’t played a game in the Ranger’s or our minor league teams.

    Egelstein, I don’t know much about Howden but what I’ve read is ALL positive. I couldn’t agree more with you about Anderssen, his desire to win is EXACTLY what we need. This kids got leadership qualities. Good call.

    • Hey pal, conventional wisdom would be that Tavares will not sign here, but why is he not a quality person if he does?

      The Isles have failed him miserably. Tavares gave them every opportunity to build around him. 2 playoffs in the last 10 years? Or something like that? They are and continue to be a complete mess of an organization and bringing Uncle Lou will convince him to sign a 10 year deal when they play in multiple arenas?

      His family comes first before considering the etiquette of which team to play for. In my humble opinion.

      He may not sign here and the odds are against it, but he will get paid nicely, “stay at home”, play for a class organization, be the Captain of an Original 6 team (which is still a big deal in the NHL), and get surrounded by talented players as the Rangers have the opportunity to retool.

      IDK, sounds pretty good to me.

      • I never said JT would not be a quality person if he signed here. In my opinion he has better options elsewhere without at best, alienating the team that drafted him and that he played for from day one.

        Remember when we all salivated when the Devil’s Zach Parise hit UFA? The Rangers made a hard play for him. He excluded the Rangers from his pool of choices. Why? For one reason and one reason only, he did not want to show a lack of respect to the Devils. So in my opinion you’ll see the same thing with JT. Think Parise II.

        I also never said he would’t help this team. Obviously he would.

        In my opinion it just ‘ain’t happening.

        • I don’t disagree pal.

          But there’s that little part of me that says it’s not impossible, that Tavares will at least listen, unlike Parise.

    • Jerry

      Just looking at the roster assembled by Tampa, and their knack for picking some great players, the Howden kid was their #1 pick last season. We not only got back him, as well as the Hajek kid, their #2 pick from last season, but will get either #1 or #2 next season’s draft, and a #1 this years deep draft. What’s not to like, two very good kids who play the game well, another pick next season, and Nameisnekov, now that’s one heck of a return. We still could move Nameisnekov in a package at the draft, or use him on the wing.

      The two players we received Howden, and Hajek, have gotten rave reviews, are big kids, and play with some edge, or grit to go along with their skill. That trade should be made every year if possible in my book, and will help change the face of this organization.

      There are plenty of naysayers, Rich S comes to mind, that wants to get back all the retreads, and stick with them until they are ready for the glue factory. Me, I’m of the opinion that life goes on, be receptive to positive change, because the way business has been conducted over the last 78 years has been poor to say the least. I measure success with the number of times I win the cup, not the number of times I’m a brides maid!!!!!!!!!!!!

      A little tidbit of information, we have won the Cup four times in our history, while the Pens have won five cups in half the years as us, now hows that for a kick in the scrotum???????????

      • Sorry, but SCREW the Pens … you can’t compare a class organization like the Rangers to a team that has tanked consistently in order to get top picks in the draft, especially in years where generational players are available. You take away Lemieux and Crosby from the Pen teams and you have 0 Cups for the Pens, you put Lemieux and then Crosby on the Rangers and we have 9 or 10 Cups over the course of our history.

        • I’ve said the exact same thing about them, but the key word to their fraudulent success is the draft. Boy did they ever know hen to tank!!!!!!!! My point exactly, draft quality, you can’t expect to win with other teams rejects!!!!!!!!

      • Walt my good friend, I could not agree more. We are about the same age and have suffered through…. well lets not beat a dead horse.

        IMHO, JG has done a great job. Time will tell, except for Spooner, Namestnikov, O’Gara (who was basically a throw in) and Beleskey (who will give the Ranger AHL some NEEDED sandpaper), none of the guys JG received have played a game for us. We will not use the picks we received until June. Maybe we trade up, maybe we don’t. I’ll leave that stuff to the experts, and cross my fingers Sather’s input is non existent.

        This rebuild, reset or whatever you want to call it was LONG overdue. We got complacent finishing in the middle of the pack, for which we were rewarded by middle of the pack draft position. And then we trade those middle of tthe pack draft position picks for way passed their prime vets.

        It takes two (or more) to make a trade, you’ve got to give to get.

        JG has obviously moved past the ‘one more kick of the can’ Sather mentality. As I said many many times, that ole can we were kicking was filled with cement.

        JG has publicly said we were “too easy to play against”, “too predictable”, (thank you AV), and that will change.

        Move up in the draft,, or stand pat. Trade Zucc or keep him. I’ll leave those decisions to Ranger brain trust. All I know is for the first time in MANY years, I will be enjoying this years draft and interesting off season.

        Bring on a new coach and a new type of Ranger team, I’ll gladly live with the growing pains.

        • Jerry

          Well stated, and on point.

          For your sake, let’s hope you get to see a cup real soon, I’m still holding out for a few more!!!!! LOL……….By the way, 71 years and counting, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon…….

  • Hmmmm, I don’t know gents, seems to be a lot of talk of the kind of quick fixes that have handicapped this team in the past?

    I don’t think Taveres signs with the Rangers unless they over pay him for too long of a time. He is going to go for more than Hank us paid.

    Kovy is worth a shot on a short term contract. Is he really going to go for that when others may dangle longer terms in front of a guy who got paid a helluva lot of money in the past? I am skeptical.

    Now a young stud defenseman? That is a no-brainer. That is where I’d be looking first if I was rebuilding the team.

    • Hey Peter.

      For Kovy, it’s not about money. He’s wanted on Broadway for a long time. 2 years with an option for a 3rd is my prediction.

      Tavares is unlikely, for sure, but it is not as impossible as it was 3 months ago.

  • I have no problem moving any player at this point. The Rangers are team that was really in no mans land this season. They where good enough to make the playoffs but would have gotten blown out in the first round.

    If MCD could get moved any Ranger could be moved. I love Zucc he is 5’8 but plays like he is 6’5 but if he could fetch the right return why not move him. The bottom line the garden is always sold out so the orgazation know’s they will not lose revenue but wants to build a cup contender for many years.

    If they could sign Kovalchuk, bring back Nash and grabs, I see Zucc staying. The bigger question if Dougie Hamilton is available do the Rangers kick the tires on him. My only concern on Hamilton is how is a guy this good talked about be moved by his second team.

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