As the Rangers help the NHL's business boom in the Bronx, they're simultaneously focused on how best to spend their slice of the league's growing revenue pie. Sunday's 7-3 Rangers win over the Devils at Yankee Stadium posted a 5.1 rating on NBC - the highest ever in New York for an NHL game on the network. Their Wednesday night showdown with the Islanders on NBC Sports Network also promises tons of eyeballs on two longtime local rivals. Still, the Blueshirts have their own business to take care of, as well. Twelve of GM Glen Sather's players are due to become free agents this summer, including five restricted and seven unrestricted, the latter group led by captain Ryan Callahan and defensemen Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman. So the work already has begun. On Monday morning, after pending restricted free agent Mats Zuccarello scored twice during Sunday's snowfall, Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen reported the Rangers and Zuccarello's representatives at Newport Sports have begun negotiations exploring a potential extension to his one-year, $1.15 million deal. Zuccarello's agent, Craig Oster, told the Daily News on Monday afternoon that while nothing new has happened recently, he and the Rangers have had "preliminary talks" and that both expressed satisfaction with their current arrangement and a willingness to revisit that discussion. Zuccarello, 26, second on the team in both goals (15) and points (37), has arbitration rights in the offseason. The season may have far from over, but all NHL teams, the Rangers included, have been doing their homework for months, both on how to prepare for this spring's playoff run and for next season.
Rangers talk extension with Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Callahan ahead of free agency
New York Daily News | Jan 28