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Mats Zuccarello First Norwegian To Play In Stanley Cup Final

This 2014 Stanley Cup Final series mark the first time a Norwegian-born player has laced up the skated for a shot at hoisting the Stanley Cup.  Though The New York Rangers are down 3-1 in the series heading into tonight's Game 5 in Los Angeles he should be in the talks along with Henrik Lundqvist for Conn Smythe should the Rangers dig out of the hole and win Lord Stanley's Cup. 

Zuccarello is current 4th for the New York Rangers in points for the post season with 13 (5 goals, 10 assists) and is making a name for himself along side another player that went went undrafted by the NHL possibly due to the fact that they are both shorter than the average NHL player.  

Martin St. Louis, 38, is 5'8" and made a name for himself in the NHL showing that in some cases in the NHL the bigger size isn't always better.  Zuccarello is in that same boat coming in at 5'7" at age 26.

The Norwegian left-winger almost missed out on this opportunity a second time.  After not being drafted the was signed by the Rangers as a free agent in 2010 and made his North American debut with their AHL affiliate Connecticut Whale in the 2010-11 season playing 36 games. 2010-11 season saw Zuccarello's NHL debut playing 42 games with the Rangers and playing in one Stanley Cup Playoff game.

Bouncing between the NHL and the AHL he returned to Europe with a contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL during the 2012-13 season.  His NHL contract had expired just as the league headed into the lockout.  It was not until the end of March in 2013 that the New York Rangers signed Zuccarello to a one-year contract for the shortened NHL season. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: monica+mcalister


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com