Saturday, May 26, 2012
Zuccarello to KHL? Not just yet
By Katie Strang
Although reports surfaced in the hours after the Rangers' season-ending loss to the Devils that Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello is bolting for Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, those reports appear to be premature.
Although Zuccarello has been contacted by the KHL's Metallurg Magnitogorsk, no deal has been signed, his agent told ESPNNewYork.com Saturday morning.
It is believed that remaining in the NHL is still Zuccarello's top priority, but he has reached an agreement in principle if that doesn't pan out
The diminutive 24-year-old forward, who spent the majority of the season with New York's AHL affiliate in Hartford, had two goals and one assist in 10 games for the Rangers, but missed the last two months of the season with a fractured left wrist.
Coming off the last year of his entry-level deal, Zuccarello is a restricted free agent, although his inability to crack the Rangers lineup may entice him to play overseas. Before coming to North America, he was a star in the Swedish Elite League, where he averaged more than a point per game in two seasons playing for Modo.