1. Mats Zuccarello – Right Wing, New York Rangers
I think the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers could actually match up really well in a few areas. The Rangers are clearly tanking, and looking to get much younger while trying to add NHL ready, or near NHL ready talent, while at the same time get some money off the books.
The San Jose Sharks it seems are one player away from truly making a Stanley Cup run (although, don’t we say that every year?), and are in the rental market. They’re looking for guys who could be a bargain at the deadline, and don’t necessarily have to worry about resigning.
Zuccarello fits that mold, and will be far cheaper than the Rangers blue chippers in Hayes and Krieder. Zuc has had a rough season (for him) with only 8 goals and 24 points on the season. But he’s also had some injury issues, as he’s only appeared in 35 games this season.
Zuccarello is a left handed shot, and the San Jose Sharks have tons of lefty shot forwards. But Zuc plays on the right side of Zabinijad and Krieder in New York and could easily step right in on the right side of either Thornton or Hertl.
Realistically, Zuccarello would be my top choice, as he’s still a pretty good player but could be had for relatively cheap. The San Jose Sharks would have to unload a contract on to New York in the deal, but the Rangers could handle a player, say a defenseman making oh I don’t know 3.8 Million per year with one year left on his deal. Which would relatively offset Zucarello’s 4.5 million he’s owed this season.