Who else but Mats Zuccarello?

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Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello has had quite the year both on and off the ice. He led the team with 59 points in the regular season and had seven points in the playoffs. He was consistent in his effort every night, regardless of whether or not he was tickling the twine. And this effort won him the team’s coveted Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award.

And his offseason has been quite eventful as well. There was the time he stopped to say hello to a little kid playing hockey in his driveway. He will be playing his annual charity All-Star Game back in his native Norway in a couple of weeks, featuring teammates Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad as well as his former teammate Carl Hagelin.


But before Zucc laces them up for his charity game, he laced up a different kind of boot. The diminutive forward played in the Norway Celebrity Cup soccer (football) game. And just like he does on the Garden ice, Zuccarello led his team to victory and contributed three points (G, 2A).


The undersized overachiever will be in a unique position this year on Broadway. He should be on the shortlist to take over the vacated alternate captain role after Dan Girardi was bought out, and will be expected to step up, even more, this year. No, this soccer game does not have any indication of what he will do when he takes the ice this October. But there is no denying that Mats Zuccarello is a special person both at the rink and away from it.

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