Fans, community sad to see Jason Zucker leave Wild
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When the Wild take the ice tonight, Jason Zucker won't be with them. But his impact wasn't felt just on the ice.
It's a significant loss for fans and the hospital community the Zucker family has done so much for.
Carly Zucker, Jason's wife, said on KFAN radio Tuesday morning that the news of Jason being traded to Pittsburgh Monday has been far more emotional than she thought it would be.
A known radio personality in the Twin Cities, Carly shared her feelings with listeners.
"There's so much with the Wild organization that we love so much. I joke a lot and I am very sarcastic on Twitter and I make fun of him a lot but the people in the organization were so good to us," she shared.
Zucker's trade means he's already in Pennsylvania to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Carly said he'll be gone for the rest of the season.
"It's mixed emotions for us because we love it here, the kids are here, and it's home," she said.
The Zucker family created Give 16, and the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio within the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. A place where families and kids can go to watch Minnesota Wild games, record their own TV shows and escape their hospital rooms. No. 16 was Jason's Wild jersey number.
"Right off the bat, it's very sad, especially the mom of a young hockey player that has grown up knowing that name, it's heartbreaking," said Jenna McNulty.
For many, it's sad not only from a sports perspective, but also because of the service and compassion that's come along with the Zuckers.
"She and Jason have both done a ton for Minnesota and the Twin Cities, they are both well known and well-spoken, just good people that do really good things," said Wild fan Anne Haase.
The Zucker family said the Give 16 campaign will continue and they hope hockey fans from everywhere will continue to support it.
Nick Engbloom, Director of Community Partnerships at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, issued the following statement to KSTP:
"It is important for the community to know that Jason is on his way to Pittsburgh professionally, but personally he and Carly call Minnesota their home and always will. What Carly and Jason have done in this community is extraordinary, what started as a dream to build the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast became a $1.4 million reality that involved so many individuals, corporations and community partners through their Give16 movement. This is only the beginning as we hope this fantastic community will continue to support the Zuckers and the amazing patients and families of University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital."
KSTP reached out to Carly Zucker but did not hear back.