After Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller were all let go by the Rangers, Mats Zuccarello remained as one of the only long-time veterans left on the team. Set to enter free agency after this season, the 31-year-old understands that this could be his final season in New York.
“I think everyone knows that this is where I want to be, and if we figure something out, that’s my main goal,’’ Zuccarello told Colin Stephenson of Newsday. “But at the same time, if they don’t want me, there’s no point in me staying here if they don’t want me. Then I have to go.
“At the end of the day, it’s not up to me. I’ve got one year left on my deal and I’m here to compete and play well, and trying to do my best for the team to win as long as I’m here.’’
The winger is entering the final year of his four-year, $18MM deal with the Rangers, and he finished last season with 53 points.
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NHL…
- Rangers coach David Quinn said he isn’t worried about any of his team’s veterans, even if they may be skeptical of their future with the organization. “I really don’t,’’ he said (via Stephenson). “I just focus on coaching these guys the best I can and try and help them become better players. The contract situation’s really out of my control, and that’s how I look at it. It’s not my job.’’
- We heard earlier this week that there hadn’t been any progress in the standoff between winger William Nylander and the Maple Leafs. However, Kristen Shilton of TSN tweets that general manager Kyle Dubas and agent Lewis Gross have talked over the past 24 hours. Shilton reiterates that teams have reached out to the Maple Leafs regarding a trade, but the front office has rebuffed the inquiries.
- Every player placed on waivers yesterday – even surprise Ottawa Senators addition Zack Smith – ultimately cleared. 17 more players were placed on waivers today, and we kept track of them all right here.