MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti)
New York Rangers wing Mats Zuccarello will play for KHL team Metallurg Magnitogorsk next season, he has told Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang.
Metallurg initially announced signing Zuccarello on a two-year contract last week, only for the Norwegian forward to describe the situation as “a lot of rumors” on his Twitter feed.
“It is incredibly sad that I have to leave the Rangers, but I had two years there and it was a dream,” he told Verdens Gang late Friday.
“I felt it was time for a change. It’ll be the KHL and Magnitogorsk.”
Zuccarello, 24, will be one of the KHL’s highest-profile signings, after 52 games with the Rangers in which he played 52 NHL games and became only the second Norwegian to feature in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Leaving the NHL will not mean any less enjoyment for Zuccarello, he said.
“It will be exciting. They play cool hockey over there and it’s a great league. I’m looking forward to playing for Metallurg.”
Zuccarello, 24, joined the Rangers in 2010 as an undrafted free agent and played in the 2010-11 playoffs, but missed much of the 2011-12 season with a fractured wrist.
He was 2010 MVP in the Swedish league with Modo, and before that he was 2008 MVP in his native Norway with Frisk at the age of 20.
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