As soon as news broke that the Rangers decided to sign Mats Zucarello to a one-year deal instead of a long term contract, many fans expressed their concern that the diminutive winger could leave the Blueshirts as an unrestricted free agent next season for a bigger pay day.
However, Zuccarello has always shown allegiance to the Rangers signing cap friendly deals in an attempt to keep the club competitive. And if that’s not enough for you, how about this quote after signing his new one-year, $3.5 million deal (via VG)…
“They have a cap, and then it was best to sign for one year. It makes me a free agent next year, but I am very happy to play on the Rangers. I feel it is my club and hope we have a good year.”
…in a day and age in which athletes show no loyalty their teams and/or fan base, it is so refreshing to see a guy refer to the Rangers as “my club” and be willing to do the right thing for the betterment of the team. Do you honestly think he’s going to look elsewhere after taking multiple pay cuts during his career to remain a Blueshirt?
…trust me, when the calendar turns to 2015, Zuccarello will get his multi-year deal. Back in 2007, the Rangers incurred the same situation with Lundqvist. The Rangers asked him to sign a one-year, $4.25M contract that offseason so they had the flexibility to sign both Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. Then in February of that season, they rewarded him with a six-year, $41.25 million extension.
…obviously, the only way this blows up is if Sather goes back on his word and plays hardball with Zuccarello on a long term deal. If that’s the case, I could see Zuccarello become jaded and spurn the Rangers in free agency next summer.
Here’s a great pic of Zuccarello signing his new contract…