With just over two week remaining before the NHL trade deadline, the New York Rangers like what they are seeing from veteran Mats Zuccarello, who is only helping his trade value for the team as he’s picked up five goals and 10 assists in the last 10 games, giving the team the potential for a big return. However, the 31-year-old says that he would like that trade to happen sooner than later, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.
“I just wish sooner rather than later, just to clarify it,” Zuccarello said Sunday. “But I’m here now. I’ll play my hardest and do my best. That’s all I can control.”
While the 31-year-old is a fan favorite in New York, the rebuilding team isn’t likely to bring back the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent next season, who will be 32 at the start of next season. However, he’d be a better fit on a playoff team, looking for a playmaker. However, his strong play recently should get him a new opportunity.
- NBC Sports J.J. Regan writes that the Washington Capitals have seen a recent resurgence from their third line of Andrei Burakovsky, Lars Eller and Brett Connolly has been crucial to the team’s recent success. However, with Burakovsky’s name constantly in the news as potential trade bait, he has played two straight games playing high-quality hockey, putting up a goal and two assists. The question then is whether the team should move the inconsistent forward who still has just 15 points this season. However, with restricted free agency upcoming this summer, the team might be better off moving on from him regardless because the Capitals will have to offer him a salary of $3.25MM in order to qualify him and retain his rights as a restricted free agent. The Capitals, already strapped under the salary cap, may not be ready to do this.
- The Boston Bruins announced that defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who has missed both weekend games with a lower-body injury, is expected to skate Monday and could return on Tuesday against Chicago. The 25-year-old has a goal and 14 points in 50 games this season with 54 penalty minutes.