New York Rangers pass-happy forward Mats Zuccarello once again finds himself in a familiar yet uncertain situation.
In a radio podcast interview with Norwegian reporter Roy Kvatningen, Zuccarello expressed his feelings as the final year of his contract is set to expire at the end of this season.
A translation of the podcast was published by the New York Post and though sad to read the reality of the situation is not surprising, It’s actually as truthful as can be.
“A trade appears to be most likely, I guess I’m prepared for it, I’m just waiting for it to happen. It’s a tough spot to be in, if I’m being honest.”
Now I have to ask, what is the big deal about this quote?
Did he bash the only organization he has ever played for? No. Did Zuccarello say he is miserable with the situation? No. Did he say what most fans and probably a lot of his teammates are feeling right now?
The 31-year-old has been a fan-favorite, a New York Rangers employee since the 2010 season. For nine seasons he has dazzled the fans with impossible passes, big-time goals, a well-known friendship with Henrik Lundqvist, and a love for this great city and its Rangers fans.
Zuccarello gave his blood and almost his career away in a game 5 playoff match against the Pittsburgh Penguins when a Ryan McDonagh slapshot hit him in the head, the results left him unable to speak for a few days. As always, he battled to get healthy and back in the lineup.
The podcast interview is another fact in reality. The Hobbit was in the middle of multiple trade rumors last season, he almost was dealt to Colorado before the deal fell through as the deadline passed.
RELATED: Zibanejad Proud Of New Role
No fan, team member or anyone else for that matter should be hurt, insulted at the player who spoke the truth. It’s a rare situation to occur especially in the New York market.
Zuccarello, who has been injured with a ground strain for the last three weeks, has had plenty of free time on his hands to think about what could be up next in his career and life. A new deal in New York (doubtful) or the possibility of donning a different sweater for the first time in his NHL career.
I’d be more concerned of a newly inspired Zucc playing for a contender like Nashville, Winnipeg, or maybe Toronto. You don’t want to think about it or hear it, but the right wing has done both recently. What would No. 36 in a Leafs Jersey look like?
Damn my eyes.
“I’ve always said that I only ever wanted to play for the New York Rangers, but I’ve been thinking..I’m getting older and maybe I could use a new spark.” -New York Post
The Hobbit could fill a missing piece for another team.
Does that story sound familiar? The Rangers did the same thing in 1994 trading fan-favorite Mike Gartner at the trade deadline and the Rangers went on to Stanley Cup glory.
Zuccarello’s Stanley Cup aspirations are no surprise as like every other player in the league, hoisting the Cup is always on his mind.
There is one request I personally have, please hockey gods, do not let me see Zucc put on that blue and orange sweater across town!