Mats Zuccarello is staying in the land of the Shire ... err, New York City for four more years. Just a mere couple of days after it was reported that the 'Norwegian Hobbit Wizard' was put on the trading block, the Rangers opted to keep the small and shifty forward.
According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, that's a four-year $18 million contract with full no-trade clause in his first year.
How does a player go from being on the trade block to all of a sudden being re-signed? Bargaining and leverage of course. The 27-year-old Zuccarello was going to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. And if the salary cap was going to be at $69 million, New York wouldn't have afforded him. And as a player with 59 points a year ago and 35 this season in 59 games, he probably would have been lavished with greater riches than a $4.5 million contract? Perhaps.
Only issue is his size, which at 5-foot-7 is really small. But he is a hobbit, and they are incredible creatures.
RIP Leonard Nimoy:
Regardless, it's a good deal for Zuccarello to stay in New York to get the long-term security all athletes want, and probably a discount for the Rangers to keep a strong piece of their top-six forwards.
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