Zucker feeling healthy, excited to get Letang and Malkin back with the penguins

Edna, Minnesota. – Jason Zucker He’s feeling better and is bullish about this season with the Pittsburgh Penguins for several reasons.

The forward, who was limited to 41 games last season due to a number of injuries, is skating again and plays in the Da Beauty League, a 4v4 summer hockey league for NHL, American Hockey League and NCAA Division I players in Minnesota.

“I’m excited,” the 30-year-old said after playing his first game on Wednesday. “It’s been really slow for me, but it’s been really good. It’s good to be back skiing again, and I’m just excited to be healthy and get ready for a healthy season this year.”

Zucker played his first 30 games in 2021-22, but the problems began in January when he missed seven games with a lower body injury. He came back on January 17 but didn’t feel well and underwent cardiopulmonary bypass surgery on January 25. That kept him until March 31, but in his first match, he sustained a lower body injury that kept him out for three games. He then suffered another lower body injury on April 25 that kept him out of the regular season final and the first two games of Pittsburgh’s seven-game loss to the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I’ve been chasing all year, which is unfortunate,” said Zucker, who scored 17 points (nine goals and 8 assists), his lowest in a single season since 2013-2014. “But everyone goes through this at some point in their career, and for me that happened last year. So I’m excited to get that out of the way. It’s a contract year for me, so I’m ready to play.”

Zucker enters the final season of a five-year $27.5 million contract (average annual value of $5.5 million) signed with Minnesota Wild on July 25, 2018. He traded with the Penguins on February 10, 2020.

Video: BOS @ PIT: Zucker beats Swayman in a glove

He’ll be getting some help this season to show what he can do, as the penguins have been able to keep a good portion of their heart intact during the rest period.

This includes the three-time Stanley Cup champion defender Chris Letang and the center Yevgeny Malkin.

Letang agreed to a six-year contract worth $36.6 million (US$6.1 million) on July 7, and Malkin agreed to a four-year contract worth $24.4 million (US$6.1 million) on July 12. Not signed by July 13.

“It’s really exciting to have these guys back,” Zucker said. “Obviously they’re incredible players and they’re the reason Pittsburgh has been so successful. I felt they were back. It was so weird that they were in that locker room.”

penguins forward Jake GoentzelHe, another regular member of the Da Beauty League, said the penguins wouldn’t feel the same without Letang and Malkin.

“We’re very happy,” Goenzel said. “Two star players mean so much to the city of Pittsburgh and the organization and couldn’t be better positioned to get them back to help this team.

“We have had good times together in the past. We all want to win. Things have not gone our way for the past two years, but I feel we have a good team, and we can do well this year.”

Last season, the Penguins (46-25-11) finished third in the DC division, but their loss to Rangers was the fourth consecutive season Pittsburgh was eliminated in the first round or qualifying round of the playoffs. The Penguins last won the post-season series in 2018.

But with the return of Letang and Malkin, Zucker is intact and the defensemen’s additions Jeff PetriAnd the Jean Ruta And the Ty Smiththere is still a lot of confidence.

“We have another chance to move forward.” Teddy Blogger He said. “To get these guys back in, leaders of this team, and obviously bringing in some new additions, I think would be great for all of us.

“I think we have a real chance in a deep race this year.”

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