Pat Leonard at the Daily News notes that the Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen is reporting the Rangers and Mats Zuccarello's representatives at Newport Sports have begun negotiations on a potential extension to the restricted free agent's one-year, $1.15 million deal.
Leonard adds that Zuccarello's agent, Craig Oster, told the Daily News that while nothing new has happened recently, he and the Rangers have had "preliminary talks" and that both are satisfied with their current arrangement and a willingness to revisit that discussion.
If the Rangers and Zuccarello don't agree on an extension by the end of the season, the diminutive forward could go to arbitration where he'd be sure to get a significant raise next season and then become an unrestricted free agent in 2015.
Zuccarello has 38 points (15g, 23a) this season after scoring just 34 points (11g, 23a) the previous three.
...if you've been a long-time reader of this blog, you know I was vehemently against the signing of Zuccarello back in 2009. Under-sized European players just aren't that appealing to me. Which is why despite taking some time, including a detour in the KHL, I'm shocked at the kind of player Zuccarello has developed into. And it's not so much the play-making and offense he's generating as I knew the skill set was there, but he's easily, pound for pound, the toughest guy in the league. No matter the size of his opponent, he's not afraid to get in their face and he's one of the few Rangers players willing to stick up for a teammate. He's also currently on pace for a 25+ goal season. I mean seriously, other than reader Jack, who thought that was possible two years ago?
...i'd have no problem with the Rangers giving the 26-year old a three-year, $3 million per year extension.
Meanwhile, Zuccarello isn't the only player the Rangers are talking extension with as Ryan Callahan's agent told Leonard that he and the Blueshirts have had "ongoing discussions in the hopes that we can get something done," and that while there have been some "detours" at points, he remains "optimistic."
Callahan, who is making $4.275 million this season, has played just 37 games this year due to shoulder and leg injuries.
Larry Brooks at the New York Post adds that "wide gulfs" exist in contract talks between the Rangers and both Callahan and Dan Girardi.
...similar to my thoughts on Girardi, if Callahan and Sather can compromise on a four year deal, I'm all for the 30-year old captain's return, but if the Rochester native gets greedy I'd have no problems with the Rangers GM exploring a trade at the deadline. Sather can't risk not moving Callahan and then losing him for nothing in free agency this summer.
i liked zucc from day one and thought the more ice time the better especially quarterbacking the pp as he rarely gives away the puck like richards who holds onto the puck too long on the pponly to lose it or pass to no one when threatened by a hard check. AV has faith in zucc now and the more ice he gets the better HE GOES TO THE NET!,HE DRAWS PENALTIES and other teams can't seem to stop him and his pinpoint passes are the best on the team.
Here is what I would bet on happening... Callahan gets traded. Think about it logistically for a second... Nash and Zucc are now your top 6 Right wingers. You can't afford to be paying a third line right winger 6+ a year, no matter who he is. Idk what he brings back for us, but I would bet he signs for 7 years and around 45 million dollars. Number 2, Girardi is signed for 6 years at around 30 million. Anyone that has heard me knows G isn't my favorite player, but the Rangers have no backup plan. There is no one in the organization that is even close to playing the minutes he does on the right side (Kevin Klein while good for 20 a night, should not be seeing 25+ especially come playoff time). I am now fully entrenched with the belief that Girardi comes back before Cally does.... Just based on the needs from an organizational standpoint... My last point is who gets the C? I would think it is between three or four players. Would have to think Girardi is the odds on favorite to get it, but I would much rather it be given to Mcdonagh (as would everyone I would imagine). The other two candidates I would guess are Marc Staal and Rick Nash (assuming Richards is bought out).
I too am one of MZA's long term supporters from the time I first found this blog in 11-12' (still the best blog around!). I have always felt and said on a regular basis my belief in Zuccarello and have defended him throughout. He has continued to progress and although Adams article comparing him to MSL is intriguing I won't go so far as to say he is the heir apparent (Ok so maybe I do believe it's possible!) and thankfully a diehard Ranger!!! Realistically will he ever be that dominating I can't honestly predict, but I can and will defend his abilities, his heart, and desire to play at the highest level and contribute!!
I hope his agent does a good job because I am betting MZA will be giving slats an easy time - he pretty clearly wants to be here for a long time and I think will gladly sacrifice $$$ to allow that to happen. I would ballpark he gets 3.5 for 4yrs and I believe that barring injury he will be a steal at that price!!!
Why have we yet to see zucc on same line as Nash? Nash is on fire scoring goals and zucc is by far the best playmaker on Rangers this season. And he deserve kredit for accepting his low sallary so Rangers could sign Stepan as well.
remember when lundqvist got signed to an extension earlier this year, no one thought they were close and then BAM, a deal was done, just because they are far apart doesnt mean that something wont progress quickly once someone decides its time to actually get the deal done.
@TheNYRBlog my tips that help with this article? Nice to help you:-)
Callahan has had 3 solid seasons prior to this one, and is not too bad this season even with the injuries. He can still hit hard, and had been playing very well since being back from his injury.
I am glad they are getting close with Cally and hopefully a deal will happen before the Olympic break. I think Cally should get 5 years at around 5 million a year.
Zucc certainly deserves an extension but be careful one good season is not a telling tale of the future.
Anyway had a feeling these guys would be back next season, this news makes those odds even better.
On Zucc, other than "reader Jack" there've been a handful of us supporting Frodo from the start and in fact I've debated a lot, too much in fact on his behalf because I knew how good he was and knew that his guile, pint-sized tenacity and smarts were enough to overcome his size deficit. Not only did he not dissapear in the playoffs last year as all of his detractors said that he would, he emerged as one of their best forwards. This year he's having a nice season and is emerging as EXACTLY the player I expected him to be thank you very much (lol). You go dude! Moving forward the league knows his name now and he'll need to work that much harder to fight for his ice space and continue his improvement, which I believe will happen. Because, given his team mentality he accepted a low ball offer to help his GM sign his other players. He probably will continue to accept modest contracts and 3M or a shade higher will probably work for both sides I would think. I love Cally but I am not attached to him as a fan if he demands too much they should try to move him as long as they can replace his hard nosed and productive play.
Think G is gone unless they make headway over the olympic break... maybe to Colorado for a combination or player from Oreily/Stasny/Parentau and picks/prospects. On the other hand I think Cally comes back also. Zucc definitely will be here.
Zucc has definitely earned a nice chunk of change and probably a 3-4 year deal, although you never know with Sather and his "bridge" type deals for UFAs. I never doubted that Zucc had excellent skills, I just didn't think his frame would hold up over the long haul. For sure he's shown a ton of heart and toughness, but I'm still not sure how he holds up after playing that way for 2 or 3 seasons. But hell, he's earned the right to show it, and I am rooting 100% that he proves to be as durable as he is firey/talented!
As far as Cally & Girardi, I really have no clue at this point what will happen. Sather basically has a month to either sign them or trade them, but I'm pretty confident that neither of them makes it to free agency in a Rangers uniform. If they do get traded, then I hope Sather can get young, character-rich pieces back that can minimize the hit of their losses
Being of approximately the size of Zuccarello, I have always been well-disposed toward him. I am glad that Kevin has come round to appreciate the fact that goodness often comes in small packages.
They all pull this shit b/c in the past the rangers always give in and over pay. then we pay for it in ineffective overpayed lazy older players.then when an opportunity arises we have no cap room or no players on the squad that anyone wants due to lack of effort and salary. Not saying cally 's effort is low but his effort is going down due to age and injury sell high buy low works not just in stocks Zucc on otherhand 3-4 million for 4 years is a steal with the salary cap rising and at 3 mill he is a valuable chip in a blockbuster trade
I tend not to believe Larry Brooks when he writes stuff like this. He's a mouthpiece for Sather, who of course is playing hardball with Cally's people through the press. This is a guy who -- 2 days before Henrik signed his mega-deal -- wrote this: "sources have told The Post little progress has been made in sealing a deal that would keep the King from becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1." 2 days after that, boom, contract signed. So, yeah. Take what Larry reports with a huge grain of salt.
It's all about dollars and cents.... everyone as a price... if too high, then bye bye! I'd say it's a bit over the top to say Zucc is pound for pound the toughest player in the league.... he might be one of the ballsiest players in the league but certainly not the toughest. I've never seen the guy in a fight. How do you know he is tough? Courageous yes, tough no way in hell.
I'm happy for him. Met him two years ago at the AHL All Stars in AC. All he wanted was to play for the Rangers. He's done us all proud!
@TheNYRBlog I thought it was possible! You could clearly see his skill and ability from the get go.
@JMK8363 Interestingly that is around when I found the blog too and was vehemently supporting Zucc ever since he got resigned last season. I do remember a few of your posts as there were not too many of us who believed in the Hobbit back then. Those who did stood out. Yes I second the notion that this is the best Rangers blog. Plethora of knee jerk reactions withstanding (which I kind of like anyway) this is the most polite and well informed group of fans I've encountered anywhere. I don't go anywhere else to get my Rangers news now. .
@sportsjourn Probably because the coach doesn't want either of them to play on their off wing, I think if they did that Zucc would be the most likely one to move to the left side, Nashty's move from right to middle is too nasty to change. If they didn't play the same position we probably would have seen the combo a while ago.
@sportsjourn A lot of Zuccs points this season have come on the PP, believe it or not he has 7 points in his last 12 games. Which is very good, but not top line production.
@sportsjourn All the lines are clicking so why fix something that is broken yet? Better balanced scoring. I don't mind Zucc not playing with Nash for now but if they ever go into a scoring drought then putting them together should definitely be an option
@mlsranger It's certainly a good sign they are in on going talks and his agent feels they can get a deal done. Cally has a lot of pride of being a NYR captain, and his family is in NY, but wants to win a cup as well, so Buffalo might not be the place for him as some people have been claiming. I think a deal gets done soon, and all these trade speculations and talks will be over with, which thank goodness, because they are getting really annoying now. I agree with Kevin to a certain degree, I think 5 years they can push a deal which will be the compromise. 4 years is not enough, imo. Obviously he knows he can't get more than 7, because of what Lundqvist got, so if he asks for 6, they will likely compromise to 5 years.
your on crack or this is Cally wife. he had 3 decent seasons. 30+goal scorers get that money. Brown in LA doesnt get 5 and made less than cally in previous contract and he has a 30 goal season and 3 20+ a stanley cup and a home town discount.Cally got gotz. heart and soul goes so far
@BetweentheworldsLOL! Sorry, didn't mean to diminish anyone's past support of Zucc. I've just battled Jack (unofficial first reader of this blog) on this subject for so long, I figured I'd give him a tip of the cap.
@johnAMIRANTESrug I can name at least 5 players who are making around 5 million or 6 million that are not better or worth more than Callahan. 2 of them are on the Devils.
@Bring back Langdon Agree with you on your point and I would add that has been an painful reminder in the past of how poorly the Rangers draft and develop young players. Because of our terrible drafting, the Rangers hardly ever had anyone ready to step in and take a player's spot on the roster after he left for free agency. If they had legit young NHL ready players ready to come up then their need to overpay for older players, whether our own free agents or other team's free agents, would not be a pressure point while at the same time limiting our own free agents bargaining position. This has recently begun to change, must continue and with that said, still need to draft better.
@rangermomSo helpful!! Thanks for this piece of information.
@rangermomApparently Brooks and Leonard are totally off from eachother since Brooks said no talks are being made, where as Cally's agent says there is on going talks and they are optimistic that they can get a deal done. so I'm confused, but would take the word of Cally's agent over Brooks. No reason for Cally's agent to say anything if they are not close.
Just imagine how many point he would have if his linemates could actually bury the puck even just a little bit more.... He has jumpstarted every line he's been on and played well and generated amazing scoring opportunities for guys who couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat in the middle of the ocean!
@Bring back Langdon@mmars79How am I on crack? Brown is making 6 million and for 8 years, never would suggest that for Cally. Getting really tired of some of you fans turning your back on one of the hearts and souls of this team. I hope there is news soon whether an extension or trade so I can stop reading these ridiculous comments about him being traded or not worth re-signing.
@Kevin DeLury@BetweentheworldsJust busting your chops mostly, and pointing out that others have supported him as well. As the league clamps down on him I just hope he will be able to maintain his high level of play, and continue improving - I think he will and no matter what he's earned a new and better contract. He does so many good things for this club, much of which doesn't even show up on the score sheet.
the real problem is when bringing in the aging over payed stars, they take the team up a notch but never far enough so it puts us mid to upper end of the draft when all the stars to be are gone. you still can get someone good if your scouting is thorough like a kreider a lundquist etc.or get lucky with a pick who drops due to imaturity or bs
I am truly sorry that I am single handedly responsible for over working you - my spelling sucks to begin with and I do all my posts etc from an iPhone... But thank you!!