Good morning. Would you like some Norwegian Hobbit with your coffee? Multiple reports this morning out of Norway and Sweden indicate the Rangers and ex-Ranger Mats Zuccarello, who have been in almost daily contact since Zuccarello’s KHL season ended, have agreed to a deal to bring Zuccarello back to New York for at least the rest of this lockout-shortened NHL season. Zuccarello’s agent, Erik Ryman, sent out a Twitter message earlier saying that Zuccarello is looking forward to getting the chance again to show what he can do in the NHL. That, of course, is a big question. The Rangers are obviously starved for offense, both goal scoring and playmaking. Zuccarello finally began showing signs of being a dangerous NHL player late last season before fracturing his left and missing the playoffs. In two seasons with the Rangers organization, Zuccarello had eight goals and 18 assists in 52 games but played just 10 NHL games last season, spending most of his time with Connecticut. Zuccarello pushed for a one-way contract to return to the Rangers and if/when he does don a Blueshirt again, this will be on coach John Tortorella to a)figure out how to use Zuccarello properly and b) trust Zuccarello and not just play him 7-10 minutes per game. Zuccarello’s skills lend themselves to a top-six forward position - he has great passing skills, above-average on-ice vision and can squeeze his tiny, 5-foot-7 (ish) frame into tight places. Using him though with slower skaters on a third or fourth line will not maximize his talents.
Zuccarello deal seems imminent
Bergen Record | Mar 25