20 Dec Getting to know N.Y. RANGERS WINGER MATS ZUCCARELLO
Name: Mats André Zuccarello Aasen
Born: September 1, 1987 (age 30) in Oslo, Norway
Height: 5 ft 7 in
Weight: 179 lb
Position: Right Wing
Salary: 3.5 million
Why do you think you’re a fan favorite?
A: I don’t know … because I’m small, I guess. I’m really bad talking about myself. I like to be in the middle and be a part of everything, but when it comes to the media, I’m a little shy.
Being a short guy myself, what do you say about being small and playing hockey in the NHL? A: Size does not matter. Like I said in the Norwegian media many times, none of those guys who told me that I was too little are sitting here in this locker room today, so that’s pretty special. Everyone can achieve everything if they want to.
Are you recognized when you walk around New York? A: Not that much. Sometimes, but there are so many stars around New York City, so I’m pretty sure I’m not up there with any one of them. We have stars on our team, Hankie and those guys, they take most of the heat, so that’s nice.
In one word please describe Rangers fans.
How do you like playing with Henrik Lundqvist? A: Like I said 100 times, for me he’s the best goalie in the world by far. I remember my second day here, my first year of camp, I got a call from guys at the office and they said, “Do you want to come in and shoot at Hank, because he’s been at the NHL meetings” or whatever downtown so he didn’t come to that first practice that was here. And after that practice the day after, I got a phone call, I was in my hotel up in Tarrytown there: “Do you want to come and shoot at Henrik Lundqvist?” And I was like, “Whoa! This is gonna be pretty cool.” And then he drove me home in his Lamborghini after. Called all my buddies and said, “Just me and Hank rolling around here in New York.” He’s just a great guy — that I love to pick on. He gets really mad at me sometimes, but I think that’s just fun. I used to tell him that before I got here, he hadn’t won a Vezina Trophy, and after I got here he did (laugh). I keep bugging him about that sometimes.
Superstitions? A: I have to walk the same route that I walk to the game if we win that game. Wear the same suit, wear the same shirt, wear the same tie, everything. We won five games in a row there, from Pittsburgh to Montreal. It was almost like when we lost that one game, “I can wash this shirt now.” (laugh)
If you can have three dinner guests, anyone, who are you having? A: David Beckham, Kate Beckinsale when she was single, & Rihanna
Message to Rangers fans? A: As much as they’re on our side, we are on their side, we want to win the Cup, and we’re going to try and do everything that’s in our power and compete as hard as we can to bring the Cup back to New York.