The New York Rangers are sellers this year and the rumors are most definitely a distraction, as fan-favorite Mats Zuccarello admits.
The time leading up to the trade deadline is one full of questions for teams outside of the playoff picture like the New York Rangers. For Mats Zuccarello, it is a situation that he’s never experienced before and it is serving as a distraction.
Mats Zuccarello on #NYR trade distractions: 'It's hard to sleep sometimes' https://t.co/MHmJe9UWya #TradeCentre #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/hsYpvStsXW
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) February 22, 2018
Zuccarello told TSN that “we try to keep it the same, but obviously there is a lot of thinking about whats going to happen and stuff. I think that’s normal. No-one wants to be in the situation and sometimes it’s hard, especially when your losing. I think in six days or so it will get a little better.”
Since coming to the Rangers in the 2010-11 season, Zuccarello has been a mainstay. He has led the team in points in three out of his eight seasons on Broadway. In his time in New York, the team brought in star players over those eight years compared to trading key players.
“I’ve been here for a while and I don’t really know any other organizations. Its hard to sleep sometimes and you think a lot but at the end of the day its part of the game. When your not performing at the level the team should be its normal that these discussions and rumors come up.”
The Rangers sit six points out of a playoff spot entering play Thursday night. The team came out and publically announced that they would be going in a new direction. The first step in that rebuild was taken Tuesday afternoon when the team traded Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins.
Zuccarello’s name has been mentioned in rumors as a player that the Rangers might consider trading. With a year remaining on his contract, trading Zuccarello has the potential to bring the Rangers a nice return. The team said that his trade status was safe earlier in the season, but the circumstances have changed.
“It is something new for us. We are used to being in the top half of the table and looking towards the playoffs. It’s a different feeling for us. I don’t think anyone likes it.”
The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 26.