New York Rangers’ Restricted Free Agents Ungrateful?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, it was announced that three of the four New York Rangers‘ restricted free agents, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Chris Kreider, have filed for arbitration. The only one who did not was defenseman John Moore, and that was because he has no salary arbitration rights in his contract.

So, what does all of this mean for these players and the Rangers?

Without getting too complex and into all of the legal mumbo jumbo, this simply means that Zuccarello, Brassard and Kreider all want long-term deals for more money than what Rangers GM Glen Sather is willing to give them, and they are now bringing their cases to court.  The good news is that arbitration will not take place until at least late July, and you can still negotiate up until the court date, meaning all three can have new deals in place without ever having to take their cases through arbitration.

Regardless though, Zuccarello, Brassard and Kreider have shown me just by filing for arbitration that they care more about money than staying a member of the Rangers and trying to win a Stanley Cup here. While I heard very little of Brassard and Kreider before the news broke today, Zuccarello said to the media that he was willing to take less because money does not mean much to him and that he cares more about staying with the Rangers and winning. Obviously Zuccarello lied through his teeth, because he would not have filed for arbitration if that true.

If no deal is reached by the arbitration date and the judge decides in favor of the players over the Rangers organization, and if the judge awards the players money that the Rangers just cannot afford to pay them, the Rangers would then have no choice but to let them go to free agency and lose all three players.

For the Rangers’ and the fans’ sake, either deals have to be reached with all three players before it goes to court or it goes to court and the judge rules against the players, because if not, the Rangers will be in serious trouble, with many holes to fill, and they sure will not get any help from these ungrateful players.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers and sports writer for Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn, and join his Google network.

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  • Guest

    Zuuke played for nearly nothing this year. He played well. Then Rangers told the press that Zuke only had one good season and therefore should not have high expectations. Rangers seems to want him to continue to be underpaid for several more years. I wonder why this journalist and the Rangers expect him to be loyal to a club that refuses to give him a reasonable salary. Loyalty swings both ways.

    • Jeffk143

      Pouliot got 4 years $20 million for 1 good season, a season that Zucc was much better in.

  • Helge Ekeberg

    What zucc told the norwegian press was that he didn’t play JUST for the money. But do anybody think that he should be underpaid just to see others players get what they whant!?
    The guy is not stupid. And he didn’t lie.

  • Michael DeSorbo

    This isn’t news Steve… this is just common.. they will continue negotiating a long term deal.. many many teams have players who file for arbitration, its just to protect the players from being taken advantage of by owners and its the only real leverage they have.

  • Jeffk143

    Mr Carcillo, I disagree with the nonsense I just read. Ungrateful? They want to get paid for what they deem their value to be. Do you have actual numbers for what they were being offered? Maybe Sather and the Rangers are ungrateful. You are labeling these guys without knowing the facts, which is poor journalism. Zuccarello did say he’d be willing to give a hometown discount, but what is a fair number for him, if Pouliot just got a 4 year, $20 million deal, when Zucc was a bigger impact, on and off the scoresheet. Zucc is 1 year away from being an UFA. if he goes to arbitration, it will be a bigger issue next year. If the Rangers view Brassard as not worth near his asking price, then trading him is the other option. Kreider is a top youngster, deserved of a Stepan like contract, because he adds other things to his game. I think $2.5-3 million per is fair, for a 2-3 year deal. Zucc showed heart all season, every game, led us in scoring, value is near $5 million, like Pouliot, for his 1 season. A discount would fall between $3.5-4 million per, and they should lock that down for 4-5 years, his intensity isn’t something that will let up, and his vision as well is amazing. To say they are ungrateful is wrong, but you want them to take less because Sather is against the wall with other contracts making it this way. I can’t say for sure who is ungrateful until I hear what is being offered, and what they are asking for. Rest assured, if Zucc goes to arbitration and has a good year, he will get rket, if not more, we need to stop it from happening. CK needs to get a fair amount, can’t lowball him.