Quick thoughts on the Zuccarello trade

The Rangers traded one of their more beloved players in recent memory yesterday, and the reactions were a wide variety of positivity and frustration. I’m going to hold off on a big post until Monday, mostly because the Rangers play this afternoon, but I have some general thoughts.

1. The return seems underwhelming, but it’s likely the best deal they could get. The return shows what 31 year old winger who, before January and February, wasn’t playing well. He’s a UFA winger with no term. The emotional value of Zucc was worth more to fans than his actual trade value. That’s par for the course for the most part, as fans always inflate the value of their own players and prospects.

2. That said, the return can be significant if Dallas gets a good draw and wins two rounds. The West is wide open, so this isn’t out of the possibility. Zucc re-signing there is a possibility as well.

3. It’s not like Jeff Gorton was turning down other trade offers that had all these picks and prospects in it. Pundits said he’d get a 2nd and a B prospect. That’s basically what this return is. I don’t get the outrage. Retaining 30% of the salary? Being angry at that is silly. It doesn’t mean anything to the Rangers.

That’s it for now. Keeping this short so I can digest the trade a little more and get a less-emotional response to it.

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  • I’m beating my dead horse some more, but in slightly different terms:

    There was no likelihood of a first anywhere, at least if we believe everyone who claims to know anything. So, the other possible return was a 2nd and a middling prospect from somewhere else.

    What is better: a 2nd and likely career AHLer vs a 2nd and likely career AHLer with the admittedly very remote possibility of one of them becoming a first rounder with NHL potential? This seems like a no-brainer to me. Sure, the conditions on the picks seem like reaches. But the potential is a risk worth taking considering the return on a 2nd and a prospect is essentially a push on what we got if Dallas goes out early/doesn’t make it and Zucc signs somewhere else.

    Gorton got what everyone believed he would get. But he also got the potential for so much more. Seems like a good hockey deal to me.

    • Zuc asking for more than 3 years makes him a former Ranger now and in the future.

      Keeping him just to ease the pain of Ranger fans and win a few more games, only to lose him anyway, is a fireable offense for a GM, and just plain stupid.

      Hot take: Zuc means more to us than the GMs around the league. Ranger fans thinking that the GMs in Nashville and Winnipeg would get into a bidding war for any player on the market, is delusional. Once they are out on Zuc and Hayes, then the market dries up for the Rangers.

      Besides, those teams value Hayes a lot more than Zuc. They both need centers for the playoff run, badly.

      • Bingo — spot on. I would have absolutely been thrilled (and would have preferred it) if he had been re-signed, though not at 5 years. This is the part we could debate reasonably and endlessly. But the debate about his actual value on this market makes no sense to me.

        • Almost every hockey pundit said a 2nd and a B prospect, that’s basically what we got, maybe better that it’s a pick and not an AHL lifer.

          Poile and Chevy don’t get into bidding wars, nor should they. Besides they need Hayes a lot more than Zuc. Zuc’s market may not have been as good as sounded. Teams asking about a player and making serious offers are 2 entirely different things.

      • Fan always will overate there favorite players just as I can as well…. with that being said…. the leadership will stay the course and we can only hope that Igor… Kratsov….K’Andre and the other hopefuls turn our to be great players….

  • Spot on Dave.
    It get me that some posters on here actually think JG passed on a better deal to accept a lesser. Really? What universe do you live in.
    JG got just what a small,31 year old, pending UFA should fetch.
    Zucc was one of my favorite Rangers during his time here. He won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award three times and deserved it, maybe even once more.
    If Dallas plays him on the first line with Seguin and Benn he’ll be playing with two linemates who are superior to Zibanejad and Kreider. Good for him!
    I seriously doubt Dallas will win two rounds. And I don’t have a clue if Zucc will re-sign with them. Worst case is we got a 2nd next year and a 3rd in 2020. Exactly what the people in the know felt Zucc should fetch. We are rebuilding, and some of our favorites have and should be departing. That’s life, that’s business.
    I wish a truly wonderful person and a great Ranger all the best. I hope his next contract rewards him in a way that makes up for the discount he gave the Rangers in the past.
    All the Best Zucc, you will always have Ranger fans pulling for you, no matter what Jersey you’re wearing

    • Jerry

      Your post is so well thought out, and cogent, that there is only one thing to add to it. Too many on this site think with their hearts, rather than their minds. We got a fair deal for what we had to offer. We all love Zucc, and thought he was worth the world. Bottom line he was worth what we got, no more, no less.

      It’s going to be interesting how people react to the return for Hayes, which will disappoint even more!!!!!!!

      • Too many marks for the back of the sweater, not enough for the front.

        I wish Zucc the best going forward, but next man up.

  • Given that the Rangers are clearly in full rebuild mode and that teams obtain much more for players with a season left on their contract vs a UFA, the Rangers MUST trade Kreider now; you are talking about a package such as Tolvanen & 1st round pick versus maybe 1st round pick and a middling prospect. Imagine what we could have gotten for Zucc and/or Hayes last year. Also trading Kreider now would make us that much worse in 2020, ensuring a better draft position for that deep draft.

    • as you learned last year that means quantity but not necessarily quality. TB gave up no top prospects last year.

      tolvanen has middling ahl numbers so far – not without risk.

      based on what were seeing with stone and prospect return for Duchene..

      t/f 98% sure Kreider is staying.

      btw, If Gorton could have gotten a first for him (zucc) he would have been gone last dead line. Likely this type of deal was there then and couldnt justify it with a year left. (I don’t buy the mcdonagh trade excuse for a second).

  • Sad to see Zucc head out of town, but it is what had to be done. Not upset about the return, Mats is 31 and a playmaking winger—a younger winger who scores goals might’ve brought back more, but age and style and size worked against the Rangers here.

    Zucc exemplified the best things in sports for me: pure will to succeed, despite being a little man in a big man’s game; pure will to overcome a serious head injury, with all the physical and mental suffering that entails; and a willingness to connect with the fans, with a kindness and sincerity not seen around the Garden since Adam Graves left town. It’s a shame he got hurt in the playoffs in 2015, it was the biggest blow to the Rangers’ chances at winning a Cup that year. Mats Zuccarello was a great NY Ranger, he’ll be missed, and I wish him all the best in the future.

      • Curious to know what was Zucc asking to extend? I would think we got the best we could but not knowing Zucc s demands is part of the deal. If they were asking for a four or more year contract I would think that sank his ship

  • We are the only idiots that gave out 1st round picks like it was candy. Blah blah blah, if if if.

    Rangers are and will remain a 1 in 75 year team. If this was the best deal for him it’s because we allowed that. Where is the risk for the Stars? None…zero. If but the reality is when Zucc becomes a fan favorite will the Stars sign him? Playoffs, Dallas has a chance to go on and win 2 series with Bishop in net. so the odds of both conditions to be met is 25%.

    By far a very underwhelming trade. And we will pick in the 8-12 range with our own pick. This team is just plain stupid, a la 2nd round pick traded last year to move up 3 spots to select a guy that would be available or comparable players available and worst off better players available and then you draft a goalie with your 2 who is not the best goalie on board

    I am losing my patience with this mickey mouse outfit

    • King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!! says:

      Leather – only problem was he wanted a 5 year deal so I’m glad they didn’t just hand that out. Maybe he would have actually taken a little less salary for the 5 years ? We don’t know the full details. I’ll take a 10th pick for Staal and Shitty together if they thru a bag of practice pucks in the mix ?
      Us handing out #1’s is so true. The MSL-Cally deal still burns me up! Yserman laughed at that deal.

      • Gorton is getting hammered, but it was Sather who sold the candy store year after year giving away first rounders like he had hundreds of picks in his pockets…

  • What a bunch of shitheads…”management” traded him for a couple bags of pucks which of course they will drop being the incompetent ass-clowns that they are. I will bet you my house that these 2 picks they obtained will be squandered as the 95% of all their previous pics have. What do you suppose the chances that they will turn them into 1/2 the player zuuk is in importance to this team…..big fat zero…welcome to the new york jets of the nhl

    • This deal is a win for both hockey organizations and most importantly for Matt Zuccarello. Playing along side Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, Zuc will put up great numbers and bolster the Stars chances of making the playoffs.

      While I won’t good as far as predicting the Stars advance 2 rounds in the playoffs, I will say it’s more then likely the Stars sign the gifted Hobbit to an extended contract.I will miss our beloved Zucc, but believe he will thrive in his new home in Dallas.

  • I think the issue here for some is that if Boyle can get a 2nd, Dzingel gets 2 2nds and an older prospect reclamation project, then Zucc “SHOULD HAVE” been worth more to the other GMs out there than a 2nd and 3rd … and if anyone tries to tell you that those other two players are worth more than Zucc, you’re kidding yourself. Now people will chime back that there is no “should have”, that this is his value because that’s what was paid — that may be true, but then some GM out there might have screwed up because we’re talking about a Top 6 player that makes other players around him better.

    Re: the 30% salary retention, the argument here is that it’s value added to the other team — does that mean without retention of any salary Zucc would have only gotten us a 2nd and 4th? Lastly, his value to any team shouldn’t be driven by the fact that Stone is still available (maybe even Panarin), the price tag on both is MUCH greater than just a 1st rounder or a 2nd and a 3rd.

    It will be interesting to see what Simmonds and Nyquist get … but in a trade for any rental, age (like Dzingel and Nyquist) isn’t as much of a factor as leadership, character and being battle tested in the playoffs.

    I don’t doubt Gorton got what he could as of Saturday — although I recall a time where people were saying Sather MIGHT have passed up on a better deal for Cam Talbot to Florida. I do wonder if perhaps he should have waited until today or even Monday — but of course I’m not on the phones and my only real “knowledge” of the situation (if we can call it knowledge) is based on rumors from pundits who may or may not know what’s really going on.

    So maybe this is the best deal, what I do wonder is whether there was a deal on the table anywhere for say just a 1st rounder and whether that would have been preferable to a 2nd and a 3rd, in other words was this a quantity over quality deal?

    • People assert that they’re sure Gorton got the best he could for Zucc, but the truth is we know very little about what occurred behind the scenes. Did he, for instance, try to get creative by packaging Zucc with other assets to yield a better return from the Stars or another team? If this is a true rebuild, could Namestnikov or VC or Strome been included in a deal with Zucc? Again, no way of knowing how Gorton went about his business, so I’m not so quick to just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he did the best he could.

      • I’m just trying to put myself in the position of a GM — this is a beloved player with strong intangibles who makes all the players around him better, a 55-60 point player (in general) who has been through the wars year after year. That just strikes me as a little more valuable than a guy like Dzingel who is having a career year (Matt Belesky anyone?), Nyquist or Simmonds (having a down year at age 30), etc. In general I hate deadline deals, I don’t believe they work out 95% of the time … but if I did believe that they were necessary or even remotely prudent, then I would pay more for a Zuccarello than I would any of those players.

        • Agreed. It’s not that we’re valuing Zucc highly merely out of sentiment; the very things we value in him are what should make him attractive to another team.

    • Without the salary retention, the deal doesn’t get done. Dallas needed it to get as close as they could to the cap so they could LTIR Marty Hanxal for max effect.

  • “You can’t always get what you want”

    you get what you need…

    We need to move players that in 1-3 years will not be part of the picture we are painting…

    the chants of “ZUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCC” will live forever in our hearts.

    the chants seeing the cup raised in the garden, trumps the “Zuucccc” by far

  • For many of us, Zucc is our favorite Ranger over the past decade. And we all know why based on everyone’s comments the last 24 hours. But we’re fans … not running an organization. We know how valuable he is but other teams may not see it as we do. He’s going to make Dallas much better. Good enough to make it to the Western Conference Finals? I doubt it lol, but the West has opened up over the past month. So who knows if Nashville, Winnipeg, and even Calgary (teams we thought may be in on Zucc) are ready to start unloading first rounders and prospects for players.

    When I first saw the trade, my eyes immediately saw 2nd and 3rd .. which was clearly upsetting. As I’ve had more time to let it marinate, it’s not as bad as we think. I obviously wish we had gotten more (guaranteed rather than the conditions that were set) but it seems to fit what the market dictated for someone his age and his stats. Based on last year’s draft, I’d rather have us selecting someone we want (as long as it’s not a goalie in round 2 lol) rather than take a team’s B level prospect who they’re willing to give up on. And Dallas doesn’t have the greatest prospect pool.

    Who knows, maybe Gorton takes these picks and flips them on draft day. If Tampa wins it all, we have two guaranteed first rounders. Maybe he takes our two 2nd round picks to move into the later stages of round 1. You never know, you just want as many cracks at the piñata with hitting on young players who will help the organization.

    Gonna miss you Zucc!

  • Good return for an old winger one headshot away from retirement. Love his play but it’s all part of the plan.

    Next gotta get Staal and Lundqvist off the books. Not that I do t like them , but they are potential picks for the future. And or top tier ufas

    • They will both be off the books in time for the expansion draft, so there’s no need to panic.

      This team can spend the next 2 years paying for placeholders that they can flip effectively, all to set up for a boatload if picks in front of the expansion draft. Room to improve the protected list for picks, can hit the ground running.

      • Absolutely — Gorton playing the long game, which he should be doing while trying to assemble as much young talent as possible.

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