Sources: Rangers agree to add Zuccarello, Fast
Help is on the way for the New York Rangers, who are turning overseas for some additions to their roster.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Help is on the way for the New York Rangers, who are turning overseas for some additions to their roster.
Multiple sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com that Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello has agreed to terms on a contract with the Blueshirts. Zuccarello was released from his current team, the Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League, a source confirmed.
The 5-foot-7 winger, who played for the Rangers from 2010-12, had an NHL out clause in his current contract with Metallurg that will allow him to return to New York once paperwork is completed. Zuccarello has 11 goals and 17 assists in 44 games with the Russian club this season.
The Rangers are 28th in the league with 2.26 goals per game, and dead last in the Eastern Conference.
"There's no secret we need to score more goals," captain Ryan Callahan said. "Bringing a guy in that can create offense definitely will help the team."
Zuccarello's deal must be finalized by April 3 for him to be eligible to play for the Rangers during the playoffs. Because that deal has yet to be finalized, coach John Tortorella refrained from commenting on the 25-year-old forward.
"There's no sense in me talking about Zuk," Tortorella said after the Rangers' practice on Monday. "He's not here right now."
It is believed that Swedish winger Jesper Fast will join Zuccarello soon. The Rangers would like to bring the 21-year-old, whose team HV 71 of the Swedish Elite League was recently eliminated from playoff contention, to New York to see what he can do.
Fast is a candidate for the Swedish national team for the world championships, however, which would require him to opt out of that invitation in order to play in New York.
Fast is under NHL contract, but has been on loan to Sweden for the year. To forgo his obligation overseas, Fast and or the Swedish National Team has to "confirm he has no intention of participating," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com via email. Fast's agent, Kurt Overhardt, doesn't foresee that as a problem.
"Everything has been positive," Overhardt told ESPNNewYork.com when reached via phone Monday morning. "We hope to have a resolution in the next day or two."
Neither Zuccarello nor Fast requires waivers to play in the NHL. Both players were included on the Rangers' reserve list to start the season.
Zuccarello's deal, once finalized, will put the Rangers at 49 contracts total. The limit for each team is 50.
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