7/1/19 | Zuccarello officially signs with Minnesota for five-years at $6 million per season.
6/30/19 | 7:35PM: Zuccarello is likely to sign a five-year deal worth around $6 million per season when free agency opens. (McKenzie)
8:36AM: The Dallas Stars are believed to be the leaders to sign San Jose captain Joe Pavelski and that would likely see Mats Zuccarello sign with another team. (The Athletic)
If Zuccarello signs with Dallas then the Rangers would get the Stars’ 2020 first round pick instead of the Stars’ 2020 third round pick.
Minnesota has reportedly expressed “serious interest” in Zuccarello and are prepared to offer him a “lucrative long-term contract. (The Athletic)
Zuccarello is also believed to be a target of John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets. (The Athletic)
Adam Rotter: The door to Zuccarello returning to the Stars isn’t completely closed and could open wide again if Joe Pavelski decides to go to Tampa instead of Dallas. The feeling around the NHL is that someone will give Zuccarello five-years but that if Zuccarello wants to join a team with a real chance to win, he may need to sign shorter term. Colorado fits that mold and he would be perfect on their second line but it’s not known if they are willing to go past three-years, maybe four. Columbus would be interesting as both he and John Tortorella are different people since they were last together in 2013 but they had a very up and down relationship.
As to how some of this relates to the Rangers, I wonder if they will pursue Valeri Nichushkin after he is bought out by Dallas. He’s 24, Russian and despite not scoring a goal in 57 games last season, was still a #10 overall pick in 2013. He played the first two-years of his career under Lindy Ruff so the Rangers surely have a good book on him and he would fit in the Ryan Strome mold of former high picks looking for a fresh start.
7:36PM: The Wild seem like a team in transition but they are giving Zuccarello what he wants in a five-year contract. Dallas presents a better chance to win than Minnesota, so does Colorado, but term was a priority for Zuccarello and he got it. The Rangers threatened to move Zuccarello before he signed his extension in 2015 and they got him at below market value. Now one of Zuccarello’s priorities was landing the deal he probably could have landed had he been a UFA four-years ago. So in the end Zuccarello goes to Minnesota and the Rangers land Matthew Robertson with the second round pick they got this year and they will get a third-round pick next year.