As the New York Rangers find themselves near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference as a whole, one hockey insider believes it’s time to move on from a veteran player.
Mats Zuccarello has spent the past 9 seasons with the Rangers. In his career, he has totaled 329 points, which includes 223 assists. Even though Zuccarello has been with the team for almost a decade, New York Post writer Larry Brooks believes it’s time to deal Zuccarello to another team.
Zuccarello knows that what he’s been doing hasn’t been working. Zuccarello is clearly frustrated with how the season is going. “I mean, I’m a professional and have a responsibility to the team and my teammates. It’s been hard. I let it get to me. I need to let go of it and get back to being the Zukey everyone knows. I thought actually that it was a little bit better that way in this game for me, but obviously not close to being enough.” Zuccarello said after Sunday’s 5-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
In Brooks’ article, he states that moving Zuccarello would be the right thing. The impending free agent is struggling offensively this year (4 goals, 10 assists, 28 GP). Zuccarello is at the lowest plus/minus in his career (-20) and may put up one of his lowest point totals since his rookie season (42 GP, 6G, 17A).
Despite Zuccarello not performing, he is still a fan favorite, which means a move could irritate an already frustrated fan base.
Brooks called upon general manager Jeff Gorton to look beyond this season and prepare for the future of this hockey club. Brooks doesn’t see Zuccarello as a future piece of the Rangers.
Is it time to move Zuccarello before the trade deadline or should the Rangers keep one of their fan favorites on the roster?