Earlier in the day, the Dallas Stars added a defenseman. Now they’ve added a forward. TSN’s Darren Dreger confirmed that the Stars have acquired veteran forward Mats Zuccarello from the New York Rangers for a 2019 conditional second-round pick and a 2020 conditional third-round pick. Zuccarello is expected to join the team for Sunday’s game against Chicago.
The second-round pick becomes a first-rounder if Dallas wins two rounds in the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, while the 2020 third-rounder can become a first-round pick if Dallas re-signs Zuccarello. The Rangers also retained 30 percent of his salary, according to CapFriendly.
“Mats is a legitimate top-six forward in this League who possesses a high level of speed, skill, compete and grit,” said Dallas general manager Jim Nill. “He will enhance our team in a number of ways.”
The Stars hope that Zuccarello will give them the offense they need to get their team into the playoffs this year. Dallas currently owns the first wild card spot in the playoffs as they are tied with Colorado with 65 points. However, the Minnesota Wild are just a point behind both team, while two more teams are within four points of Dallas. With the team struggling scoring goals beyond their first line, the team needed to bring in some offense at the trade deadline. Zuccarello, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, could provide that. The 31-year-old has 11 goals and 37 points so far this year and should be the perfect addition to the team’s struggling second line. Zaccarello has spent his entire career with the Rangers and has tallied 113 goals in 509 career NHL games.
Aside of getting the Rangers to retain 30 percent of Zuccarello’s salary, the Stars placed Martin Hanzal on long-term injured reserve, freeing up the necessary cap space for Dallas to acquire Zuccarello. Hanzal going to LTIR freed up $4.75MM in cap space.
While a pair of picks doesn’t seem like a big return, the Rangers have conditions on those picks. The Rangers could get a first-round pick in this year’s draft if the Stars win a divisional championship, which seems like a longshot, but New York can also get a first-round pick if Dallas can re-sign Zuccarello this summer.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report the potential deal.