Mats Zuccarello Rumors

Dallas eliminated in the second round by St. Louis

5/9 | Zuccarello said on Thursday that he likes it when a team believes in him and coach Jim Montgomery told him that he’d like to have him back. (SportsDay)

Dallas GM Jim Nill said that Zuccarello “fit like a glove” and that he’s like to keep him. (SportsDay)

5/8 | Larry Brooks writes that Zuccarello is likely to get a four-year deal worth $5.75 million per season, including a no-move clause, in his next contract. (NY Post)

5/7 | The Dallas Stars were eliminated by St. Louis in Game Seven and the Rangers will officially receive Dallas’ second round pick in 2019  as part of the Mats Zuccarello trade.

The Rangers will get the 48th (if Colorado defeats San Jose) or 49th (if San Jose defeats Colorado) pick overall from Dallas.

The Rangers are slated to receive Dallas’ third round pick in 2020 but that will turn into Dallas’ first round pick in 2020 if the Zuccarello re-signs with the Stars this summer.

Elliote Friedman said on the 5/2 31 Thoughts Podcast that the chances of Zuccarello re-signing in Dallas are “very reasonable, they love him. He’s been huge for them.” (Sportsnet)

He added, “when I’ve asked, I’ve been told not to dismiss it.” (Sportsnet)

Zuccarello had four goals and seven assists for Dallas in 13 playoff games.

Adam Rotter: I never expected, when the trade was made, that Dallas to get to the Western Conference Final but the fact that they came so close did leave some disappointment that the Rangers won’t be getting their first round pick. While I’m sure the Rangers would have preferred to have another pick in the top-31 in June, pick 49 from Dallas is a pretty useful asset, especially if they want to include it in a trade.

As for where Zuccarello goes next, I think he will stay in Dallas. He fit in perfectly and I don’t think Dallas will care that much for losing their 2020 first rounder. The Stars are built to win now, and like the Rangers of the past, having a player on their roster that can help them win immediately is more important than 2-3-4 years down the road when a, probably. late first round pick might be ready to make an impact. If it’s not Dallas then I think the Rangers would certainly be in play for him, especially if they miss out on Artemi Panarin. I’m sure David Quinn and the Rangers would love to have Zuccarello set an example for Vitali Kravtsov and, likely, Kaapo Kakko. Ultimately though I think Zuccarello’s time with the Rangers is over and that we should get used to seeing him work with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alex Radulov for years to come.


2019 Draft, Jeff Gorton, Rangers

What Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said about the draft and prospects

Jeff Gorton spoke with Bill Pidto on MSG last night and said the following:

  • On being at the draft lottery, “when they are turning over the cards and you know when your card is coming and it’s not there, I had my phone on vibrate in my back pocket and all the sudden (shaking movements) I had about 200s of texts of people excited about what happened. It was great and then you know you are going to three and you want to get as high as you can and you hope for the best and standing with the straightest face and they flip over three and we were going two, I didn’t want to jump up and down but I felt like it. When they flipped over Chicago and we knew we were in the top two, my phone was going (shaking moves) it’s a great night for the Rangers and it’s been a great experience to go over to these tournaments to watch these players and know where we are picking. To know we are picking two and watch players, it’s a different kind of feeling.”
  • On it being a two-player draft, “I’m glad to be in the top-two, whether we are one or two there is an opportunity to get a special player, we will leave it at that. There is still work to do, some tournaments to play and it will all play itself out but we are certainly happy to have it come up our way for a change.”
  • Can you say Kaapo Kakko, “I can say Kaapo Kakko, I can say anything if I write it down on a piece of paper. Kaapo Kakko, Jack Hughes, I can see them.”
  • On Hughes and Kakko, “their ability to make players better, when you step on the ice everyone is gunning for you and trying to stop you and they can’t, they both have that ability. They are different players but special in their own way. It’s great for the Rangers and the future is bright.”
  • On how things are going during the President search, “for me it’s been no different, a lot of decisions are made every day and that is the job. We are making deals, trying to trade people and doing what we can do. We made a deal the other day, nothing really changes or stops for the Rangers. We are just worried about tomorrow and what we are going to do.”
  • On Adam Fox, “he is a terrific talent and a player we have had our eyes on for a long time. When he was drafted he slipped in the draft a little and the game changes every day and moves in the direction of a player like this. His puck poise, his ability to make players better, he has all of that and it should be exciting to see where he fits in.”
  • On Kravtsov, “really talented player that can score goals and make plays, he can do it in traffic, really good on the PP, has a lot of talent and will fit in. Where we find that spot we will see but looking forward to him coming over and it will work itself out.”
  • On Shesterkin, “his track record is a little longer, he chose to stay a little longer like Henrik did before he came over. He’s had a lot of success, been in the Olympics, World Championships and his numbers speak for themselves. We are excited to get them both over and a lot of times they have to acclimate to the situation and playing a different game and we will afford them that but the future is bright for both of them pretty soon.”


Artemi Panarin Rangers, John Davidson

What Columbus being eliminated means for the Rangers

Julius Bergman is returning to Sweden and will play for Frolunda next season.

Bergman is an RFA and the Rangers can retain his rights by giving him a qualifying offer.

Boston eliminated Columbus in six games tonight to advance to the Eastern Conference Final against Carolina.

With the loss by Columbus the Rangers, via the Winnipeg pick, can only move up as high as 19th in the draft if Colorado defeats San Jose.

Currently the Rangers, via the Winnipeg pick, will pick no lower than 20th.

The Rangers traded Adam McQuaid to Columbus at the deadline in exchange for 4th and 7th round picks in 2019 and pending RFA defenseman Julius Bergman.

McQuaid played 14 games in the regular season for Columbus scoring one goal and one assist while averaging 11:25 per game.

McQuaid suffered an upper body injury near the end of the regular season and remained injured through the playoffs.

With Columbus being eliminated the Rangers may also have the ability to interview Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson for that same role with the Rangers.

Artemi Panarin is also slated to be UFA and a top target of the Rangers.


Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist on his future with the Rangers

14:06PM: Lundqvist sent a message to Larry Brooks clarifying his comments and re-affirmed that his goal is to win the Stanley Cup with the Rangers. (NY Post)

He said that his comments were about how a player is never “bigger or more important than an organization” but that he also has to respect the process the Rangers are going through right now. (NY Post)

9:52AM: In an interview with Expressen Sweden, Henrik Lundqvist said the following about his future with the Rangers:

“I don’t know if I will stay in Rangers throughout my career. I have two years left on the contract and it has always been my goal to remain in Rangers. But when you get up in the years you never know. I have my own agenda, but if the club wants something else, I have to be sensitive to it. You can’t just run your own race. It’s not always the dream is realistic, we’ll see how it gets. Now I focus everything on the World Cup.” (Expressen)

Lundqvist said that this past season was “very different” than his previous ones with the Rangers and that the losses during the second half of the season took a toll on him mentally. (Expressen)

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He added that he felt good to start the year and was better “physically, technically and mentally” than he had been in “several years.”

Lundqvist has stated numerous times since the Rangers began their rebuild that he wanted to stay with the organization.

He said near the end of the season that his struggles had “drained” him and that for him to enjoy playing it “starts with my own mindset, not where we are as a team. That’s what I’m going to work on.” (NY Post)

David Quinn spoke about Lundqvist’s workload at the end of the season and said, Hank and I have talked about that for sure. I’ve said this before, I’m a new coach and Hank has done it this way and this is the way it’s done, he and I have talked about that for sure. Listen, he’s still one of the top goalies in the league and he is a part of our future.”

Quinn said of Lundqvist buying into the rebuild, on 11/29, “it really sets the tone, for any staff and organization. He has been here for so long and had so much success and I don’t know if there is anyone in our league that has the importance and weight that he does in our locker room and it makes all of our jobs easier.” (NYR)

Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said of Lundqvist at the end of the season, he went to the All-Star game and we kind of forget that, obviously he was really good in the beginning of the year and then it became difficult. As we were starting to trade some of his friends again and the season with how it was unfolding, I think it was a lot for him mentally to go through that again and it was difficult and showed in his play but when I think of his season I think of how good he was at the beginning of the year and it didn’t go well for our team from the deadline on and he is no different than any player. The guy is still a great goalie, I’m convinced of that and I just think that it didn’t go his way the last few games and I look for him to be great again.”

Lundqvist has two-years remaining on his contract with cap hits of $8.5 million per season but is only paid $7 million this coming season and $5.5 million in 2020-21. He has a full no-move clause. (Cap Friendly)

Adam Rotter: If Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t want to go anywhere in the final two-years of his contract then he won’t. I think more of what Lundqvist is saying involves whether he remains with the Rangers in some capacity after his contract expires or if he tries to join another team as a UFA in the summer of 2021 to be part of a potential winner. He has only ever wanted to play and win with the Rangers but there just may not be a spot for him in a couple of years when the Rangers might be really getting into position to contend again. Lundqvist still has a big role with the Rangers on and off the ice and they don’t yet have anyone else ready to assume the 50-60 game workload that a starter would. His spot right now is secure but anything beyond his current contract is certainly up for grabs at this point.



How the elimination of the Islanders helps the Rangers

With Carolina’s sweep of the Islanders in the second round of the playoffs the Hurricanes’ first round pick in 2019 drops to a spot between 28-31.

Because of that the Winnipeg Jets first round pick that the Rangers own in 2019 can be no lower than 20th overall.

Carolina and Winnipeg finished the season tied with 99 points but Winnipeg held the tie-breaker, and lower pick, with 45 ROW.

The Winnipeg pick that the Rangers own can still move up if Columbus defeats Boston and/or Colorado defeats San Jose.

If Dallas defeats St. Louis the Rangers would own Dallas’ first round pick in 2019, which would be between 28-31 depending on where Dallas finishes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Brady Skjei, Chris Kreider

What Brady Skjei and Chris Kreider said on NHL Network

Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei were on NHL Now on the NHL Network and said the following:

  • Skjei | Why play for Team USA: : “I saw the roster and team that they put together, Chris Drury and the other managers did a great job. When you see that many talented players going over and representing your country it’s usually a good sign.”
  • Kreider | “It’s a huge honor, a fun tournament and seeing parts of the world you’ve never seen before the and the competition is pretty elite.”
  • Kreider | “I shot on Henrik Lundqvist the past week and a half, just me and him.”
  • Kreider | How long did you shoot with Henrik, “as long as he wanted pucks, he likes seeing shots. I score a handful of goals…”
  • Skjei | On Henrik Lundqvist, “he had his ups and downs but it’s unbelievable how competitive he is and how focused he is every day. He comes to the rink and is usually the last guy off the ice taking shootouts, before games, so focused. To see that every day and learn off it is really huge.”
  • Skjei | On Zuccarello and Dallas “been texting him here and there, we want them to keep going…I’m a big Stars fan right now.”
  • Did you watch the draft lottery
  • Kreider | “I got a text from people pretty surprised we got the second overall pick. When you can add a top-five pick to the lineup and someone that can contribute right away, that is a huge get for us.”
  • Skjei | What is your summer like after the Worlds, “A few golf trips, heading to Colorado for a weekend. Going back to Minnesota and train and play in DaBeautyLeague.”
  • Kreider | “I don’t have much planned, I’m not really a golfer. Just trying and get outside and get some sun, get back to work.”
  • Kreider | What do you do for fun, “Wiffle-ball”