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01-31-2014, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TigerJack View Post
Donīt totally agree. Yes, this is his first full season. But if you look at his earlier efforts, he was a 0.5 player his first season DESPITE having Tortorella as a coach. He never let Zucc play his game. But still he picked up a lot of points. When he returned back last years from KHL, he noted 8 points in the 15 RS-games he played, and in the Playoffs he was second best behind Brassard with 7 points in 12 games. Yes, the playoffs where most of the Zucc-critics predicted he would fall through.

And this season speaks for it self. Tied in lead with points with 1 game less played than Richie, and almost 2 minutes less icetime/g (17:08 vs 19:02) and more than a minute less ice time/g in PP (2:41 vs 3:52)

Not saying he deserves a superstar contract, but IMO somewhere around 3,5-4M is not an overpayment for a team leader in points. Keep in mind that the cap also goes up next season.
And to add to that, Zuccarello has humility and commitment, traits tons of skilled players lack, which hinders their development and consistency. Zucca doesn't half-ass it when he's on the ice, which is rare with players relying on fancy passes. Whichever contract Zucca gets, he's worth it, because he's giving something to this team that it sorely lacks (skill) and holds the standard in the other (work ethics).

Zuccarello might not have been able to play his style of hockey under Torts, but I think Torts still taught Zucca something about hockey and made him a better player. It's been mentioned before by myself and many others, but I just have to repeat it: that Zuccarello was able to produce at a 0.5 PPG pace playing Torts kind of hockey says so much of how good Zuccarello actually is (and we all saw how his assist total easily could've been doubled with better scorers). Most east-west Euros would've crumbled. Could you imagine Michael Nylander playing under Torts (who was a PPG player with Jagr and Straka)?

Last edited by Chimp: 01-31-2014 at 06:59 AM.
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