Mats Zuccarello sounds off on the Rangers handling of Lundqvist and himself

Mats Zuccarello did not hold back in a recent interview that appeared on Norwegian site VG. The former beloved Blueshirt talked about the NHL Pause and playing in Minnesota but fully unloaded on Rangers management when he was asked about his good friend Henrik Lundqvist.

Zuccarello Still Upset with Rangers

“It’s absolutely upsetting that he is being treated that way,” was Zuccarello’s opening salvo. “Did anyone ever think that this was going to happen to Henrik Lundqvist? No one!.” Mats was traded away from the Rangers two deadlines ago but is still extremely bitter in how the Rangers handled the whole situation. That is why he wasn’t hesitant to finally let it out.

“I never thought it would happen to me either. In my eyes, I was going to end my career with the Rangers,” Zucc continued. “I think Hank would, too. Everything was going to be fine and great, but then management decides, and then you’re not worth shit.”

Being Loyal Is Nonsense

This season Mats Zuccarello played his first game at Madison Square Garden since being dealt and it was very emotional. He revealed in the interview that part of his decisioning when looking for a new place to play would be signing with a team in the West. He simply didn’t want to play the Rangers at MSG more than one time a year.

Zuccarello (photo Allan Kreda)

Hockey players understand that there is a business side to the game. Which is why these type of unfiltered comments are rare. However when it comes to Zuccarello he took less to be here on his last NY deal and feels very slighted with the Rangers lack of communication before they moved him. Now he sees his best friend going through something similar so the gloves are off.

“If we had managed to win the Stanley Cup in 2014, when we were in the final, Lundqvist would have been the greatest legend in Rangers history. I mean that.” In 2015-16, Mats took less money ($4.5 AAV) and term (4 years) as a UFA to stay with the Rangers, he felt his loyalty would be rewarded back when the deal expired. “Now you see that being nice to a club, or taking less pay because you are loyal, turns out to be just nonsense.” One has to wonder what Henrik will say when his Rangers career comes to an end, most likely not of his choosing.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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