GM Sather Raves About Norwegian Forward, Newest Star Defenseman Yandle

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)  Mats Zuccarello isn’t going anywhere.

The Rangers and the 5-foot-7 winger have agreed to a four-year, $18 million extension, the team confirmed Monday.

It was reported over the weekend that general manager Glen Sather was shopping the 27-year-old forward. However, Zuccarello ended up agreeing to significantly less money from the Rangers than he was originally seeking. According to ESPN.com, the Norwegian’s representatives were initially looking for a five-year deal with an average annual salary of more than $5 million.

Mats Zuccarello (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Mats Zuccarello (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Zuccarello has 12 goals and 23 assists in 59 games this season. He had a career-high 59 points last season.

“I like everything about him: his tenacity, his hard work, seeing the ice, the way he plays, the chemistry he brings,” Sather said of Zuccarello on Monday.

While most teams scrambled Monday to get deals done, the Rangers did their damage on Sunday, solidifying a team that made it to last season’s Stanley Cup Final.

The Rangers acquired All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle, defenseman Chris Summers and a 2016 fourth-round pick from the Coyotes in exchange for defenseman John Moore, top prospect Anthony Duclair, a conditional first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-rounder this year.

“It feels great. The last couple of days have been a bit crazy. It’s an honor for me. I’m excited,” said Yandle, who was to play his first game with his new team Monday night at the Garden against league-best Nashville.

Sather said Yandle is a special talent.

“This is the kind of player we’ve been watching for a long time. Ulf Samuelsson had him in Phoenix. He knows his character,” Sather said. “He’s like (Rick) Nash in a lot of ways. We’ll just see how it develops.”

In separate deals, the Rangers traded forward Lee Stempniak to the Jets for forward Carl Klingberg and sent a fourth-round pick in 2016 to the Sharks for James Sheppard.

The Rangers (38-17-6, 82 points) went into Monday night’s game two points behind the first-place Islanders in the Metropolitan Division with three games in hand.

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