ESPN: Mats Zuccarello “unlikely” to be moved
Katie Strang of ESPN, recently published her Rangers article for the websites’ 30 in 30 series. In it she rightfully calls the Rangers buyers come March 2nd’s trade deadline and notes some of the potential acquisitions Glen Sather may have interest in.
As we have been posting here, Antoine Vermette and plan B, option Mike Santorelli are at the top of Sather’s list for centers. Strang actually mention’s L.A.’s Jarett Stoll as a possibility due to the Kings’ tight cap situation for next season.
When it came to the Rangers two big UFA’s coming up this summer, she had this to say:
[su_quote cite=”Katie Strang” url=”https://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/12268013/nhl-new-york-rangers-options-march-2-trade-deadline”]They do have two pending UFAs in Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello who remain unsigned, but one source familiar to the team’s thinking finds it “unlikely” that they would move either player. St. Louis, it should be noted, also has a full no-trade clause in his deal.[/su_quote]
First off, what is a “source familiar to the team’s thinking” mean? Are we talking about the same team that has a stance that if you are valuable UFA asset and remain unsigned we will explore trading you? Just last season, Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan were being shopped due to their contract status.
If you recall, Girardi was rumored to be heading to Anaheim before he signed his extension. Meanwhile, the Rangers traded their captain, Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay in exchange for Martin St. Louis.
I seriously doubt the Rangers with a cap crunch of their own will just let Mats Zuccarello get to the start of free agency unsigned. Why would they? Only to watch Zuccarello sign with the first team that offers him over 5 million a season.
A hard lesson they learned this past summer when both Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle left NY for Florida’s no State Income Tax. Walking that same path with Zuccarello doesn’t seem prudent or in Sather’s character.
To me, that is what’s really “unlikely”.