With the New York Rangers recently locking up Ryan McDonagh on a six-year, $28.2 million contract, the Rangers were left with very little wiggle room for Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello. There was some belief that with Stepan in line to also receive a hefty payday, Zuccarello would be the odd-man out yet again. But, according to a recent report from TV2 in Norway, the Rangers and Zuccarello are actually closer than they appeared to be a few days ago.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported on Thursday that Zuccarello is likely seeking at least $2 million a season, while the Rangers are offering in the range of $1.5 million. But Zuccarello has shot down those contract demand rumors, and stated that the sides are actually closer to an agreement than it is being reported.
Here's a rough translation from Zuccarello's interview with TV2.
12 million? [approx. $2 million USD] It's too much. I will not comment on how much I crave, but I would not say it's unreasonable sums. I've been at the club more or less for three years now and has played well in the games I've had a chance. I meant that they got to the playoffs, and played a good playoffs. So I'm sure if they had the money we had agreed earlier, explaining hockey star.
In another interview with Nettavisen, Zuccarello confirmed that other teams have expressed interest in his services, but at the moment he is only focused on a return with the New York Rangers. He also stated that he is not stressing the situation at hand, and that everything will eventually play itself out.
Zuccarello also filed for salary arbitration on Wednesday evening, but both sides can still agree on terms prior to Zuccarello's scheduled meeting time. We'll find out pretty soon if these reports do actually come true.