Zuccarello signs; Kreider scheduled for arbitration Wednesday


The Rangers signed one of their three arbitration-bound restricted free agents, Mats Zuccarello, Tuesday night. Zuccarello, the Rangers best forward for most of the season, agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. By agreeing to the one-year deal, Zuccarello can become an unrestricted free agent after 2014-15 unless the sides can agree upon an extension.

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game FiveChris Kreider is on deck, with his arbitration hearing scheduled for today, unless the sides can reach an agreement before the hearing Wednesday morning. According to Larry Brooks, Kreider is seeking $2.8 million per, while Glen Sather is standing firm at two years and an average cap hit of $2.05 million.

The Rangers still have about $9 million in cap space, but need to sign restricted free agents Derick Brassard, who is headed to arbitration himself, and John Moore, plus some other pieces. Brassard’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday, July 28.


Here’s the official announcement of the Zuccarello signing, from the NYR:


NEW YORK, July 22, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Mats Zuccarello.

Zuccarello, 26, registered 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 points, along with 32 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 77 games with the Rangers this past season. He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, power play goals (four), power play assists (13), power play points (17), game-winning goals (four), average ice time (17:08), and shots on goal (170). Zuccarello led the team in points, tied for the team lead in assists, tied for second in power play assists, ranked third in goals, tied for third in plus/minus rating and game-winning goals, ranked fourth in power play points, and finished fifth in shots on goal. Zuccarello’s 59 points were the most a Norwegian-born player has recorded in one season in NHL history. After missing the Rangers’ contest on October 24 at Philadelphia, he tallied a point in 42 of his final 70 games. Zuccarello skated in his 100th career NHL contest on December 15 vs. Calgary. He registered a career-high, six-game point streak on two occasions – from January 26 at New Jersey to February 7 at Pittsburgh (two goals, six assists), and from March 30 at Edmonton to April 10 vs. Buffalo (four goals, five assists).

At the conclusion of the regular season, Zuccarello was named the recipient of the 2013-14 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The award, which is voted on by the fans, has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1987-88 season to the player who “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The Oslo, Norway native became the third European-born player to receive the award, joining Jan Erixon (1987-88, 1990-91) and Henrik Lundqvist (2005-06).

In the 2014 Playoffs, the 5-7, 179-pounder registered five goals and eight assists for 13 points, along with 20 penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating in 25 games. He established playoff career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, average ice time (17:40), hits (54), blocked shots (28), and shots on goal (54), and tied playoff career-highs in power play assists (three) and power play points (three). He tied for second on the team – and tied for eighth in the NHL – in plus/minus rating, tied for third on the team in assists, tied for fourth on the team in goals and points, ranked fifth on the team in shots on goal and hits, and tied for second among NHL forwards in blocked shots in the playoffs. He established single-game playoff career-highs with three assists and three points in Game 5 of the Metropolitan Division Finals at Pittsburgh on May 9.

Zuccarello has skated in 144 career NHL games, all with the Blueshirts, registering 30 goals and 63 assists for 93 points, along with 50 penalty minutes and a plus-24 rating. He has tallied nine goals on 19 shootout attempts (47.4%), including four game-deciding goals. In 2010-11, Zuccarello tied for the team lead, and tied for fourth among NHL rookies, with nine power play assists. He has tallied six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, along with 26 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating in 38 career NHL playoff games.

Internationally, Zuccarello has represented Norway in numerous tournaments, including most recently at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He skated in three games during the Olympics, leading all forwards on the team in average ice time (22:25).

Zuccarello signed with the Rangers as a free agent on March 28, 2013. He originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent on May 26, 2010.

Photos by Getty Images.


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  1. Shortsighted to sign for 1 year, but when you’re 26 and single, you think you are going to live forever. Hope he does. And hope that the rest of us never die.

  2. Maybe a bit shortsighted but gets him in at a reasonable figure. If he plays well again Slats needs to get on the case in January.

    I’m thinking The Kreider settles at $2.25 before the hearing

  3. I think the Rangers were a bit hesitant to give him a multi-year deal at 3-4 million since they worry about last year being a fluke.

  4. Tick tock on Kreider. Can they settle before 9am hearing.

    Just meet in middle at 2.4

  5. 2.4 x 2 would be a good bridge.

    With Zucc in at 3.5. Where does Brass come in at?

    How much over $4M does he get?

  6. The first mistake is not calling him THE Kreider. That’s probably all it takes for him to sign on the dotted line. But Clown Sather is likely presenting a document that disrespects him.

    That he’ll ultimately be kind enough to sign below the $10M/year that he deserves is a testament to THE’s commitment to the team and to winning.

  7. Oleo, MZA didn’t have to settle for $3.5M. Read the paragraphs 2,3, and 4 in the above announcement by the team. That would be all his agent had to present to arbitrator and he would be easily awarded $4.2-$4.5M. Would still be a one year, and he would still become an UFA next year. I think he settled for it because the team asked him to take less this year, and perhaps even assured him that he is getting a long term deal at certain amount in January. I’m admittedly just speculating, but it makes sense. You can still call it a hometown discount because Zuccarello is taking a chance in case he gets injured.

  8. According to Capgeek, the Rangers have around $8.8M to spend. They’ve already spent $60,192,500M. That includes newcomers Lee, Lombardi, and Mueller. It also includes Fast, but doesn’t include JT Miller. On defense, it accounts for both Kostka and Hunwick. At least two, if not three of those guys will be playing in AHL. So if you do the math, the Rangers have close to $9.5M wiggle room. Assuming that Brassard gets around $4.5M, Kreider ( THE, Miami) gets $2.5M, and J. Moore is going to have very little choice but play for around $1M, the Rangers will still have approximately $1.5M left. Not much, but does give them a little breathing room. MZA could’ve easily eaten most of it up if he went to arbitration.

  9. Presume it waent to the hearing seeing as its gone 9am your time and no announcement?

  10. And it’s Gorton, not Sather presenting. Only way Sather would’ve attended is if it was held on a lake in Banff.

  11. “…hope that the rest of us never die”.
    At least we will never know about it…
    As for Zuc – professional Slat’s haters have very little material to burn, so far. Under current circumstances, everything goes almost flawlessly right. Right? (unless, of course, some of our historians/librarians will again explain how Sather ancient terrible Jessiman draft mistake directly influenced Rangers lost to Kings in SCF.

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    Tim Wharnsby
    #NYR Kreider settled 2 yrs @ $2.35 M and $2.60 M.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    David Booth signed last night for 1.1 million in Toronto. For the record, he was my choice of reclamation project over the Heatleys, Stempniaks, etc.

  14. My comment from 9:01 is awaiting moderation. I attempted to calculate how much many the Rangers will have after they signed Kreider ( I assumed $2.5M ), and the rest of the RFAs. Since I’m too lazy, and have no idea why it’s awaiting moderation, I’m not redoing it. But the number was close to $1.5M left in wiggle room.

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    The interesting part of the contract is the escalated salary in the second year. It will make his QO higher.

    Of course, his QO number would be rendered moot if he continues developing at his current upward trajectory.

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    ilb, I find that a lot of my posts that end up in moderation have a typo that spells a naughty word. the most common for me is anything involving count, without the o, or anything that should be a word ending in s followed by the word hit.

  17. Yes, they did the same with Stepan. Kreider’s QO will be $2.6M in two years. They can sign him to an extension anytime during his second contract year though.

  18. So far, things going as planned. If they can settle with Brassard for $4.5M or less (no guarantee), and Moore about $900k, they’ll have about $900k in cap space for some variation of a 22 man roster.

  19. Rangers announce they will begin selling stuffed Zuccarellos on the team store site.

  20. Robby Bonfire on

    ilb2000 –

    Yes, I exaggerated to make a point, this business of striving to win seven Stanley Cups in eight years. This is George Steinbrenner-type thinking, and I admire it. That is to say, every season that you do not win your league’s championship represents FAILURE.

    “Just getting there” to the SCF or to the WS is not good enough for the winners among us. And certainly, “just making the playoffs, Baby,” is a disgracefully low ceiling to aspire to, one that the New York Rangers are saddled with, so long as the present G.M. is in that position.

    You can never go wrong striving for excellence and striving to become the best there ever was in your profession. I think of Tiger Woods, Bobby Fischer, Michael Jordan Sir Edmund Hillary, Robert Ballard, etc., as well as gutsy entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Donald Trump who thrive upon bucking the odds against them. These men are my inspiration and my role models in life.

    The “just slide by” philosophy of the G.M. of the New York Rangers is the primary example, to me, of how not to conduct your business. Sather is the food stamps mentality G.M. for the ages and the ultimate example of how to run your business into the ground via the acceptance of mediocrity and its corollary – failure, as the crux of your philosophical approach.

  21. Doodie Machetto on

    Gravy, your numbers are correct, but incorrectly assume we will carry all of Lombardi, Mueller, Fast, Kostka, and Hunwick on the roster. At least two of those guys are heading down. I’d say probably Hunwick and Mueller, which would free up another 1.2 million.

  22. If anything, I think that Sather’s problem is that he tries to win the Cup every year instead of building toward a Cup contender.

    Sather is almost exactly like Steinbrenner, who almost always made trades and signings that blocked younger players. They went through the 80s like that, and weren’t successful until they built around the core four (and Bernie Williams).

    This is coming from a Mets fan.

  23. Doodie, my assumption is that they will be replaced by some combination of Miller, Allen, McIlrath, etc. for similar cap hits.

  24. Doodie Machetto on

    No, at least two guys go down for good because we aren’t carrying 8 defensemen and 14 forwards.

    I get that Miller probably comes up at some point, but when he does, some other guy goes down in his spot. After Brassard and Moore are signed, that cap number you’re working with will include 14 forwards and 8 defensemen. That’s not how the team will operate during the season.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    That’s why I figure Mueller and Hunwick. One forward and one defenseman.

  26. ILB

    Techincally rangers can do another bridge for Kreider in two year at a 4 mil per(minimum 2.6) rather then long term deal if they so choose

  27. Zuccarello has a *lot* of nicknames:

    Hobbit Wizard
    Cotton Stuffing
    Topo Gigio

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Eric, doing so would be unwise because after another 2 year bridge contract, he would be UFA eligible and pissed off.

  29. Once we get done with brassard and Moore and still have about 800k in cap space why not use it on carcillo. Adds toughness other then glass and knows system.

  30. O Reilly agrees to deal with avs.

    6 mil cap hit. 5.8 yr one 6.2 year two.

    Cap hit was 6.5 from offer sheet with flames.

  31. Doodie, I think we are both mistaken.

    Kreider and Brassard will give them 13 forwards. Assume Muller is replaced by Miller, and that adds $300k hit. Lindberg adds $675k. Moore will replace one of the D to make 7 and add about another $300k. Based on Armchair GM, they should have $1.5M in cap space under that scenario.

  32. Rangers have 6.332 in cap space left per cap geek.

    Brassard 4.5
    Moore 1 mil
    Carcillo 800k?

  33. Ugh, forget Lindberg (or keep him and demote Lombardi). I forgot to add Miller to the armchair lineup, so it’s a bit over $1.2M.

  34. Robbie, trust me when I tell you that ilb is a winner. He’s the winner among winners. He just has a different perspective when it comes to results of sport. He enjoys the game, it’s his hobby, and for him theres so much more to life than sport. His life is about improving the lives of others.

  35. I on the other hand agree with you. As the immaculate, magnanimous, honorable George M Steinbrenner III said, winning is 2nd only to breathing.

  36. With $1.2M in cap space, they can sign someone much better than Carcillo. They would be demoting Miller, Fast or Lombardi, which gives them the ability to sign a $2.0-2.1M player (though I’d expect they’d want some cushion).

  37. Here something was just thinking. How about if things don’t go well with brassard in next few days. What about Turing around and discussing a package with brassard to Colorado for o,Reilly who yes he just signed but things are clearly not good between team and player from all reports you read. He made 6.5 last year cap hit now of 6 mil. Sign brassard at 4.7 ship him to Colorado?

  38. Eric, it would put them against the cap depending on which “major leaguers” went the other way, but it could be done. I also wouldn’t expect him to be with the team longer than two years, based on his history.

  39. If we have $2M to throw around maybe we could sign someone BIG and PHYSICAL to play on the 4th line…

  40. Who on 4th line left is worth anything more then 800k to a mil.

    2 mil players aren’t out there

  41. Stranger Nation on

    Can’t wait to watch the TV show profiling Great Entrepreneurs starring Donald Trump.

  42. Eric, I was referring to O’Reilly. It could be just the team, but he seems to be exhibiting a pattern of having a bad attitude when it comes to negotiations.

  43. Hi RE2PECT!

    It’s on-going. Things are going to be well. Thanks so much for remembering!

  44. Maybe we can go back in time, not sign Tanner Glass and use a little of our excess space on Brian Boyle of Tampa Bay.

  45. bull dog line on

    with Nash, MSL, and Zucc already on the right side, I would think Stempniak was signed to be the 4th RW.

  46. I think there’s a chance that MZA moves to LW to play with Brassard and MSL. It’s possible that Stempniak moves to LW with Brassard and MZA, but that would put Nash or MSL on a line with Miller/Lindberg.

  47. Nice raise for Zucc!

    He deserves it.

    Just imagine if he has a 70pt year and outscores Nash again. Just imagine how big his next contract will be? UFA next year.

  48. You don’t break up Brass & Zucc, you find someone that can score with them. Danny Boy would be a perfect fit on this line.

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    Is Nash more effective on the right? He played all of his career up to his last season in Columbus on the left.

  50. I hope everything works out for the best. Ive had you in my thoughts for the past year & youll remain in my thoughts Pimp.

  51. THE needs to be a BEAST this year!

    THE will be BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER. He only gets better with time!

  52. bull dog line on

    don’t know if that is true ( not saying it isn’t), but if that is true makes you wonder what the hell Torts was thinking forcing Gabby to play the left with Nash on the right.

  53. _Who on 4th line left is worth anything more then 800k to a mil.

    2 mil players aren’t out there_

    I swear to god I’ll pistol-whip the guy who says Dustin Penner.

  54. Can’t wait to find out which aging star we trade for or overpay in UFA to eat our cap space and make Stepan and/or Kreider unretainable post bridge years. I’m already stocking up on lozenges so I can scream “SELFISH!!!” the loudest this time.

  55. Sather has been pretty savvy with of of his signing this year, while leaving the door open for the kids to play. Everyone should have to earn their ice time for AV, even Nash if that’s possible.

    Every contract he has signed is short, and on the low side. He can send them down, or trade them at the deadline for picks.

    He has to leave room to extend Staal, which is a must before the end of the year.

  56. Yes, can’t really complain too much about the signings this offseason. If one of these under $900k guy winds up contributing, then it’s a win. It’s really the only way to exploit being a big market team.

    I’m still not crazy about the Glass signing, but we’ll see.

  57. Setoguchi made $3.2M last year. He was a 1’st round draft pick in ’05.

    Why would he sign for 900K? Has his stock dropped that Low?

    He’s a 30-40 pt player, with a 65pt season in 09.

  58. Gravy I wouldn’t worry about Glass. He is a solid 4th line Grinder, that almost every team can use. His contract is very tradable, so that asset would be easy to move if it doesn’t work out.

  59. Yeah, I’m willing to complain a ton about the Glass signing. There are similar players coming off less garbage years getting 1 year under a million or still waiting. That was horrible. Also, I’m willing to complain about the overall outflux of talent. And the seeming “being older is better” approach that will likely block some of the kids. And the overwillingness to bridge which is justified by our cap situation … which is Sather’s fault too. So I’m unhappy.

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